Beginning of summer
Cookouts, parades & boating
These are all things we associate with Memorial Day – Americans anyway.
But I think perhaps I, and possibly many others, are missing the point.
Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor our fallen soldiers, brave men and women who have lost their lives while serving in the line of duty. I know, it sounds canned and cliche, but I cannot think of a better way to say it.
I feel a tinge guilty planning a barbecue with my family this weekend. I haven’t lost any family or friends to war. I suspect there are lots of people for which Memorial Day sparks sadness and reminders of loved one who gave all.
I do have several family members who have and/or are currently serving in the military. The ones that were deployed in wartime thankfully have returned safely. I am beyond grateful to still have them in my life. And I want to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt sympathy for those of you mourning a loss not only this weekend, but every day.
I believe when you lose someone close to you, the grief never goes away. Instead it subsides, wanes for a season only to return later in cycles of ebb and flow. Grief becomes a companion that sometimes takes center stage and other times retreats to the shadows. You are not alone in your sorrow. I want you to feel proud of your friend or brother or sister or parent that gave their life fighting to defend America and protect not only our citizens, but our ideals and our way of life.
Soldiers serving in active-duty conflict face struggles that I can’t even begin to imagine. They deserve respect, honor and gratitude. I am grateful for every man and woman brave enough to answer the call and sign up for service. It takes a special person to be a soldier.
Thank you for doing what you do. And thank you to the families of all soldiers.
I hope everyone will take a moment this weekend to pray and give thanks for the men and women who have chosen to fight for and protect the rest of us.