Thoughts on Memorial Day
Take time today to remember it isn’t national BBQ day or the unofficial start of summer. This day has a real purpose – to remember those who sacrificed their lives so that we may live in a free society.
For those who may not know me well, let me give you a little background. I’m the daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of amazing Navy men and women. I’m married to an Army man, cousin to an Air Force man and I have many close friends who served in various armed forces. I’ve known and respected soldiers, sailors, dolphins, pilots, tank operators, special ops and rangers. Not one of these men and women takes for granted that they have survived what others did not – their service to this country.
Some in our society will rail against the government in political rants, or call our service personnel such horrible names as “war monger” or even “baby killer”. I may not like our current Commander-in-Chief (and trust me, it pains me to call him that) but I will never complain that we have a strong military. We have our problems as a nation but our military service men and woman, through the years, have defended this country and the rights of its citizens – and many fought to the very end.
Today isn’t the day to take pointless attacks against those of differing political views, to rail against the president or congress from either side of the red/blue line. Today is a day of remembrance. A day to remember the soldiers who gave their lives in WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Korea and all the various Middle East wars. Remember places like Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima, the beach at Normandy, the Hồ Chí Minh trail, Kuwait, Iraq & Afghanistan. Remember that there are some without fancy titles – the mechanic, the nurse, the clerk – who have lost their lives in support of the sailor, soldier & pilot.
And more that anything, remember WHY they have ALL done this. They have given their lives…for yours. For mine. For our freedom of speech, of religion, to bear arms. The very things we argue with one another about, they have gone out into the world and said “These are OUR freedoms. Our choices as a free country. And you will not take them from us.” These were men and women who may have had aspirations to one day become school teachers or business owners or cops or so many other professions that we have the ability to be in this country. Many probably wanted to get married, to have children, to live a long life with their loved ones. But first, they served our country, they defended US, our freedoms, our families, our very lives. And they lost their lives in defense of US.
While I’m so very thankful that my personal heroes have all come home, I will remember today that there have been scores of others that did not. That their children, spouses, parents, and friends will live with only a memory of their strong, caring, sacrificing service member. Today I remember that I have the freedom to write this blog, that I can choose what religion I do (or don’t) practice, that I can protect myself & my family with a weapon, that I can meet with whomever whenever I want, that I can vote as a woman, that – simply put – I can live the life I choose. And I can do these things because of what our country stands for and the men and women who have given their lives to protect those freedoms from those who would wish to take it from us.
So, please, enjoy the cookouts, the family time, the day off work. Enjoy those freedoms you have as an American. But be sure to take time to remember the fallen, to really understand that which you have because of what they gave up. Let that truly impact you today and give new meaning to your life today.