Flag Day and Memorial Day
I will not continue to put this out there forever, but just in case you missed our documentary, Oasis of Hope, we would love for you to watch it. We still cannot bring teams down to Haiti, but we want you to see and know our ministry as much as possible. This is our way of bringing Haiti to you...Click Here For The Movie.
The past 2 weeks have included 2 of the biggest patriotic national holidays in the 2 countries that we call home. If you are reading this right now, then you probably know that yesterday (May 31) was Memorial Day in America, but you may not know that May 18 is Flag Day in Haiti.
While very little context is needed for our Memorial Day, the idea of Flag Day being as important as it is may be "foreign" to most of our readers. In America, Flag Day is actually coming up on June 14, but without the fanfare and celebrations that you will find on Memorial Day and Independence Day a couple of weeks later.
Flag Day in Haiti is a celebration of culture and freedom in that nation. The flag is a national source of pride as the first slave colony to fight and gain its independence against their captors. Haiti has had some difficulties since then, both of its own doing and as a result of difficult circumstances, but their fight for freedom was nothing short of incredible.
Memorial Day in America is such a uniquely American thing. When you think about celebrating the lives lost in defending this nation, you would think it would be a somber occasion. A day of contemplation where people would focus on the incredible sacrifice of so many lives for the sake of freedom. If you live here, however, then you know it is not that at all. It is a day of celebration, of barbecuing, swimming, beaches, and getting together with those that you love. My guess is that the people who gave their lives to make this country what it is today would want Memorial Day to be exactly what it is...A celebration.
Flag Day in Haiti is a very uniquely Haitian thing. It is, honestly, one of the best days (Christmas and Easter would qualify as well) to be in Haiti because of the celebration that goes on. There are parades everywhere, everyone dresses in red, and there is a sense of excitement that rivals an international soccer match. Our kids love it and we celebrate it every year at All Things New. Every year they want to go into Gressier to be a part of the parades, and every year (except for the last 2, and they didn't even ask) we let them go.
You may be wondering why I brought these holidays up in a blog, but I do have a reason. If you have never been to Haiti, have been for just a brief stay, or if you have no real tie to the country, it is easy to think a certain way about it.
It is easy to look past its rich and incredible history to see a country with a lot of poverty and a lot of struggles. It is easy to look past the problems that are evident in American society because of the country it has become.
The truth is, I am proud to have been born in America. It was nothing that I chose or did, it was just the circumstances I was born into, and I thank GOD for His decision. We took full advantage of Memorial Day weekend to swim, eat good food, and be together.
I am also proud and glad to have our connection to Haiti. To be a part of a country that is so proud of their flag and their freedom. To be a part of a place that, even though there are struggles right now, there is always hope and a desire for their future.
Join me in praying for both countries. They are both deeply flawed, but they are both incredible places. They are both in a state of struggle right now, but they both have the potential to come out more united and better than ever! I hope you celebrated this past weekend like we did, and I hope that you will look up some detail about the Haitian flag and why it is important so that you can celebrate with them next May 18!