Memorial Day ~ it is not just picnics and the kick-off of summer, it is a day set aside to remember those who have died in our nation’s service. The sacrifice of these men and women and their families should never be taken lightly. Because of them, we can celebrate with picnics and parades and spend time with our families.
I come from a long line of military men. My father, my brother, several of my uncles and both of my grandfathers all served in the military…all during times of war.
A few years ago my oldest son was away on a hiking and camping trip and I was worried about him…there was no way to get in touch with him even by cell phone….I just had to trust that he would be okay. It was after dinner and I was washing the dishes and it hit me…..my Grandmother had seven sons, four of them were in the military at the same time. My Uncle Matt was a Marine pilot and was shot down and taken as a prisoner of war….my father and my Uncle George were both in the Marines also and were involved in the Battle of Iwo Jima. My oldest uncle, Uncle Norm, was in the Navy and I’m not sure where he was…but he was still out there during wartime. There were no e-mails, few if any phone calls and letters that were several weeks old were the only point of contact. How did my Grandmother do it? How did she go on? Then I thought of my own mother when my brother was in the Air Force…..I was 7 years old when he joined and went away…..I remember when he came back he was not the same….the brother that I loved to be around so much…the fun, loving, happy-go-lucky guy was gone. I don’t know why….I don’t know what happened….I just know the brother I had for 7 years was gone. Thankfully, my father and brother did not give their physical lives for this country but life once they were home was different for them. I know firsthand how much my brother changed.
This Memorial Day, please take the time to consider the sacrifices of those who serve and have served and their loved ones.