How many really know what Memorial Day means? My hope is the word memorial will ring a bell with some. Truly, let us really look at this holiday. It just came to mind that two presidential candidates running for president in 2016 have never been a part of the armed services whose sacrifice we honor on this day.
Who would sacrifice their own blood on their own soil and serve in the bloodiest Civil War in the US or the War of Independence?
Who would sacrifice their own blood on foreign soil and not think twice for the freedom of others? WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan war. How many people in the Millennium Generation and Generation X even care or know about past wars?
This day is not all about barbecues, beer, brats, blockbusters, parades and beaches. Its more than that. Its remembering those who chose to go to a war and sacrifice for our freedoms of today. Freedom to vote. Freedom to protest. Freedom to voice and most of all freedom to love thy neighbor as thyself. For our children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and their values to be preserved.
My father served in the Air Force during WWII and came away as a Sargent. He served near Saipan and Tinian as an airplane simulator instructor. LINK My father came home from that war. Many did not.
When going to that cemetery and see the splendor of flags, remember those underneath the soil didn’t know us, but fought for us and served anyway.
The first introduction of Memorial Day to me was the cemetery and a million flags flying. It looked so beautiful to my young eyes when my parents took us to the cemetery. Flowers, wreaths and cars driving in and out, stopping here and there. All I could think of was, “these flags must mean something. There are so many flying.” Finally, I just had to ask someone what it was all about and why.
Mom explained it well. “It’s a day and season when many sacrificed their lives for us in war and countless battles for our freedom to stand here this very moment.”
As many, I took a lot of my freedoms for granted without thinking of the cost and that lives were sacrificed for ME so that I could be free. So that I didn’t have to see tanks clamoring down our public streets; so I could attend the schools I chose (or my parents chose); so I could vote!
What does Memorial Day mean to you? Or like I was, do we take our freedoms for granted and never think of the blood at the beaches or the rice paddies in a foreign land? Monday, the 25th of May, lets remember to say two words to those who have served, “Thank You”.