Growing up I was very involved in Memorial Day Honorings. It was never about cookouts, days off, Amusement Parks, etc. It was about paying respect to those who fought in wars we learned about through family and textbooks. We would walk down to the local cemetery where relatives (including my little brother) are laid to rest. We would stand through the speeches, wait for the 21 gun salute and the band to play patriotic music. And then TAPS would be echoed throughout the place. We were handed little tiny replica American flags. As we got older and into High School, we marched the parade both in Conneaut and in Monroe townships, standing and playing songs and waiting and listening to the speeches from those who were sent to war. We always got free lunch from the VFW afterwards.
Fast Forward till today and we don’t go to parades, or listen to speeches, or hope that the President would honor our fallen at the Tomb of the Unknown. (I am bitter over that!!) The Husband is a veteran and active Duty. He’s seen war, he’s had best friends die, he’s been hit by an IED. I do not let him watch war movies because he is thrown back into war for the rest of the day and it breaks my heart to see that. So, we live our Memorial Day each and every day. I have LOADS of military family members. My Aunt was married to TWO Army fellas, An Uncle joined the Army, Another one joined the Navy. I have one Active duty cousin in the Air Force(who is deployed), a Brother-in-law in the Army, a husband in the Marine Corps (and the ONLY family member in the Marines, too hehe), my sister was in the Army, I have cousins that have served in the Air Force and the Army, but have finished their tours of duty. My grandfather was in the Army. I have another Uncle who was in the Army during Vietnam age. I have an Uncle’s Brother who is suffering from Agent Orange && I have countless Military Wives as friends all across the globe!
We don’t need a holiday to remember our losses, our heroes, our sacrifices. But, I am glad that there are several days throughout the year to remind other people. I pray that I never become too complacent to think about those who haven’t made it home (alive) from war. The Marine carries a memorial bulletin around in his Bible of his best friend that was killed. He shows it to anyone he’s now friends with as a reminder to the person his friend was. He recalls the day saying the KIA Marine had a very uneasy feeling about going out, but went out anyhow because they have a job to do. My Marine almost went out with him on that mission. I don’t have to tell you how THANKFUL I am that God was watching out for him.
But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.If you keep to my path,I will reveal to you the salvation of God.
Psalm 50: 23