Expatriates from the United States, relatives and others gather today in Costa Rica to pay homage to those that have given their lives in service to the United States of America.
It may seem strange to some that expats still honor Memorial Day in Costa Rica, but many living here still feel a strong allegiance to the red, white and blue. Memorial Day in Costa Rica carries the same feeling for many, and it certainly means much to the veterans that have elected to live in Costa Rica. US soldiers also have parents who come from different nations including Costa Rica.
Raymond Edison Jones Jr was one such soldier who lost his life while fighting in Iraq in 2004. His mother still resides in Costa Rica, and the American Legion Post 16 in Escazu is in honor of his service. There are also a number of Costa Ricans who have joined the ranks of US soldiers, because there hasn’t been a standing army in Costa Rica since 1949. There are several soldiers who fit this profile and have passed while in service.
Two such Costa Rican citizens and relations that have passed in service to the United States are Lance Corporal Scott Arredondo and Staff Sergeant Andrew Trevor Britton-Mihalo. The memory of these young men who have passed in service is carried on by family members here and in the United States.
The United States has been represented as the land of opportunity for many from afar, and the desire to serve in the US military has been observed among many nationalities. These soldiers, the families of these soldiers and those born in the states only to later move to the land of Pura Vida all take time to remember the meaning of service and freedom on Memorial Day whether they are currently in Costa Rica or stationed somewhere abroad.
For the soldiers stationed abroad, many Costa Rican families will take the time to say a prayer for their loved ones on this day among many others. If you have a family member who carries the banner of the red, white and blue into battle, then you too will be saying a prayer on this day and probably most days. The feeling is universal for those who know what it is to fear for the safety and protection of a loved one.
Memorial Day may seem like a holiday that might only be celebrated in the United States, but that just isn’t the case with the global nature of the world presently. Memorial Day is observed in many parts of the world now, and it is certainly observed in Costa Rica, as well.