A Salute to Memorial Day, And a “Hello” to Summer
Memorial Day is much more than just a precursor to summer. The United States would not have its freedoms and liberties if it were not for the brave men and women who risked their lives for the current and future U.S. civilians. History.com writes about the history of Memorial Day in this article. Originally, Memorial Day was known as “Decoration Day ”, inspired and established by Northern Civil War Veteran, General John A. Logan. Logan requested that there be a designated day (May 30th) to honor the fallen soldiers of the Civil War. Much later, Memorial Day was made an official holiday and day of recognition throughout the country in 1971.
As we are not currently in a war-torn country, the gravity of past and even current service can sometimes be diluted, but it’s crucial to remember that we have our privileges right now purely because of sacrifice. Growing up, I had the privilege to live with my grandma, who was, then, like a second mother to me. Her love of European and American history was instilled in me early on. Additionally, her first-hand experiences and anecdotes of her brother’s time in war were difficult for me to hear, but necessary. My grandmother also shared stories about the reality of being in high school during the draft phase, where so many of her family and friends were called to service. Losing dear friends and even family members in war is unfathomable, but that is what my grandmother and her closest friends were going through at the time. These stories certainly humbled me and changed my perspective on small things in life that I often take for granted.
My paternal grandfather served in the Navy during WWII in the Pacific, and he often talked of overwhelmingly large ships and long days at sea. Having learned from family remembrances about honoring and thanking those in service at such a young age helped me to foster a deeper meaning of Memorial Day. For me, Memorial Day weekend is special as a time to learn, honor, and reflect. But as this holiday is near the end of May and I love summertime, it is also a wonderful weekend to get ready to say hello to summer and welcome the longer, sunny days ahead! While summer is a great season to enjoy the things that make us happiest in life, Memorial Day taking place at the dawn of a summer can be an important moment of reflection and gratitude in the midst of easier times.
What does Memorial Day mean to you? Do you have any loved ones or acquaintances that have served our country, and if so, do you have any special stories to share?
The marking of summertime arriving is very exciting – the weather slowly becoming warmer each day, safe social gatherings starting to pick up, albeit still a very different type of time given the responsible gathering for safety and precautions that are important to be respectful of, the smell of beach bonfires late at night, the residue of sticky saltwater from the ocean on our skin, and the feeling of that sunshine hitting our faces. It’s hard to replicate those pockets of happiness. For so many of us, summertime brings an inexplicable fulfillment. Perhaps you have a summer bucket list for a summer of fun?
While I may not be a snowman like Olaf, I do love summer, and spend much of my time in the cooler months thinking about the things I will do “in summer” when it warms up.
For me, one of the first indicators or “summer-like” feelings I get is running around my neighborhood on a warmer day and smelling that delicious scent of barbecued meat being prepared in someone’s backyard. That scent of cookout food definitely incentivizes me to run harder, too!
(Photo from WordaNova)
A simple by-product from the summertime can often be the general winding down of many people’s schedules and hectic day-to-day lives. Work hours can often be shorter, people’s schedules are more socially oriented rather than professionally-oriented, families and friends spend much more quality time together at gatherings, and oftentimes, this can mean that more time is available for our favorite video games. One of my long-cherished summertime memories is heading over to my childhood friend’s house and seeing that her older brother and our mutual friend group were all holding Super Smash tournaments. This wasn’t just a “laid back”, “relaxed”, Super Smash face-off, either. Lifelong friendships almost ended at these tournaments, and the competition was to be taken VERY seriously.
One important thing too is to keep our brains engaged and stimulated in a time where learning and or work may be less engaging or even non-existent. Summer nights of returning from long beach days and playing Nintendo games with my brother until early morning hours will always be fond memories that I hold dear. And in the summer, I still enjoy setting aside time to play an engaging game. Certain games can even transport you into a world of summer as you explore the game world, where some take you to lakes and mountaintops, others to the sandy beaches or countries all around the world. This list from Mashable of great summertime games was fun to discover and will help put you in the summer games mood! What games are on your summer bucket list?
Mystery adventure games are great for a summer activity, whether that be playing the games alone, or playing with family and friends. I love nothing more than curling up on a summer night, trying not to be too afraid of the dark playing a scary game! For these moments of summer, a mystery game would be a great game to play, right?
One of the many reasons I adore Nancy Drew is because of how the games pull you into solving cases. Solving these cases often happens in the most interesting places as well!
(Photo from Pexel)
Maybe it is the late-night-puzzle-solving, or, knowing something or someone may just pop out and scare me makes a summer mystery more exciting! Also, the basis of mystery-solving and using critical, deep thinking is fluid throughout the entire franchise, which I love. Personally, I like to feel that my brain is still actively involved in working through and or solving some kind of subject, particularly, one that I am passionate about or intrinsically motivated by.
As I start to line up my summer games, I look at new games releasing just in time for summer play and add them to my list to play before summer ends. This list from GamesRadar includes highly anticipated Summer games (I personally cannot wait for Legend of Zelda’s Skyward Sword in HD).
Photo by GamesRadar
Then, I start deciding on what my go-to Nancy Drew summer mystery game favorites will be this year. The options are all wonderful, too. I can solve cases in the great outdoors, investigate suspects who introduce me to adventurous places like ranches in the Arizona deserts, old and abandoned amusement parks with haunted carousels, and so much more. Since the beach is part of my daily run, I love playing through the ocean vibes in other Nancy Drew games like Kapu Cave or Danger on Deception Island.
What are your favorite video games to play in summer? Having trouble picking out just the right mysteries? Summer games can be a great way to connect with family and friends to share time together! Get your summer game this Memorial Weekend and start off your summer of mysteries.
I am an Air Force veteran as of this past summer. I grew up playing nancy drew with my dad and sister. Such great memories were made with these games. During my time in the military, I deployed twice for 7 months each. I work as an aircraft mechanic on fighter jets and worked 14 hours shifts six days a week. On the one day off we were given, I spent the whole day replaying old nancy drew games. It was the perfect thing to help relieve stress and helped me feel less homesick. As many people know, memorial day is not to celebrate those who are serving or those who have served. It is a day to remember those who never came home. I lost a dear friend a couple of months before coming home and I hope While people are enjoying the holiday, they take the time to remember and thank those who gave their all.
Both my grandfather’s served in the U.S. armed forces, one in the army and one in the Marines. The Marine was in WWII at Iwa Jima. Now my oldest is a Marine officer! I am so proud!
I have great memories with both my brothers, playing Nancy Drew as a child. Our first was Secret of Shadow Ranch, and I would have my oldest brother at the keyboard/mouse whenever we had to go to the ghost town, cuz it scared me. Lol I still love Nancy drew and have introduced many friends to it! I can’t wait for a new mystery!
My thanks and prayers to all service members, past and present! May God bless, protect, and reward you all and your families.