Memorial Day 2020

Photo Credit: Amy Gregg Photography

Good morning friends –

Today’s post will be short and sweet, as I have vowed to limit my time on social media for this holiday – Memorial Day. This Memorial Day, things are a little different. We are encouraged to stay home and avoid gathering on the lake. Many malls and shopping centers are closed due to social distancing, so customers will not be flooding the stores in search of the perfect summer outfit. Instead, this year we are all going to be quietly reflecting on the importance and magnitude of Memorial Day with our families in our homes, and while I could not be more ready for the COVID pandemic to be over… I’m also equally overwhelmed with a renewed sense of love and gratitude for our veterans. Let me explain…

As someone who has always worked in customer services, business management, and retail – Memorial Day and The Fourth of July have always meant new floor sets, pushing merchandise out the doors, and focusing on the commercialization of the holidays. Being a small business owner, thrust into a pandemic during the first year of being a makeup artist full time has brought to really evaluate my understanding of our freedoms and feel a true and overwhelming sense of gratitude for those rights as Americans. The lockdowns and social distancing measures have given us all a little time to read up on our history, gain a better understanding of our freedoms, and feel and immense love for our country as we see neighbors coming together to care for one another. I could not be filled with more gratitude for my civil rights, especially as we look at the unique situation we have found ourselves in.

It’s very interesting, I was chatting with my fiancé the other day and in distancing ourselves for so long, I actually have found that I’ve chatted with more kind hearted strangers picking up take-out or standing in line at the grocery store in the past three and half months than I have in the past five years. I’ve learned so many people’s stories, and been blessed to learn about people that I wouldn’t normally have chatted with. I feel blessed to see communities coming together to try and put food on the table for families who are without work and without food, I see communities sponsoring other local business owners and rallying behind them – and I have been blessed to grow my personal business network through this event because I’ve connected with so many new people. It has been very interesting to see how a virus whose goal was to take down many people across the globe has been dealt with through social distancing, but in turn has grown many of our communities stronger and resulted in many people finding new purpose. I see neighbors shopping locally and purchasing items that are American made, and it makes my heart swell with gratitude that we have the capacity to support our local businesses in this way.

I promised I would keep this short, and I do promise that I am swiftly growing near to the end. For me, Memorial Day is different this year. Memorial Day is a reminder that so many incredible men and women have given their lives to protect our freedoms (which so many of us have taken for granted for so very long) and also protect our communities. On Memorial Day, I encourage you to reflect a bit more about the blessings that have been placed upon us as Americans and I pray that you thank a veteran for their service today and every day. Regardless of anyone’s views on the lockdowns, we can all feel immense gratitude for our protected freedoms today and everyday because of the brave men and women that have sacrificed so much for each of us. Today I am grateful for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, our country, the folks that have protected our rights, and for you.

Wishing you a joyful, reflective, and Happy Memorial Day.

God Bless You, God Bless Your Family, and God Bless America!

Ashley

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