For those who have lost a veteran, in war or in peace, every day is a day to remember them. We loved them and now they are gone. We will forever miss them. Brave soldiers all, went out to right a wrong…to make the sacrifice necessary to make our nation free, and to fight oppression in our world. Some came home after serving their country and somehow managing to stay alive…against all odds, but some did not, and instead paid the ultimate price…their lives. All were brave soldiers, who knew what was being asked of them, knew the possibilities, and yet they went anyway, knowing that when they left home to serve, they might not be returning. They felt a calling to serve, and they bravely answered the call. Without the brave soldiers who have answered that call over the years, evil would have completely overtaken our world. There is still much evil out there, but it is our prayers and our soldiers that help to keep it at bay.
I am one of the fortunate ones. My dad and other loved ones came home from their wars. I have never felt the sting of losing a soldier in battle, but I have known those who have, and it breaks my heart for them. Each of them bravely moves forward with their lives, carrying with them the memories of their loved one, lost in battle. Little routines like jewelry with their loved one’s name on it, a decal on their car, or a flag in their yard, remind them of their loved one…somehow keeping them close, even though they are gone. They visit the grave, some to talk to their loved one, others to simply sit and reminisce about the past, but all do the things they do for the same reason…to remember their brave soldier, so tragically lost to the ravages of war.
Whether we have lost someone in battle, or our soldier died after leading a long life, each day that is set aside to remember their service is a special day to us. It doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy the day off or have a barbeque…it just means that we really think about the reasons that we are free to do these things. My own dad loved barbeques, drives to the lake or the mountains, and camping on the long weekends, so why would we not do those things now that he is living in Heaven. Nevertheless, we also take flowers, spinners, wind chimes, and of course, a flag to place on my parents grave, as well as the graves of all our other loved ones. It is a tradition that keeps them in our remembrance, and after all, the most important part of Memorial Day is to remember those we have lost, especially our brave soldiers. So today, we salute all of our soldiers, living and dead. We thank you for your brave service. We will never forget. Happy Memorial Day to all.