Memorial Day is often a day spent with family and friends...filled with family backyard barbecues, a day at the beach/lake, or maybe spent getting summer gardens readied. For some families it means making sure the graves of their loved ones have flowers. Those flowers are placed there out of respect for the lives lived and died in sacrificial service to our country. For others, it's just another day off work...a time to relax or play or sleep.
|photo taken by Tiffany Mora, edited by Gay Idle|
So I find myself doing laundry, a little cleaning, making plans to do some reading in the sun this afternoon, and making a trip to Walmart. Now usually at the check-out line in stores on a holiday the typical greeting would be, "Happy (insert name of holiday here)". I didn't hear that today...well, there was this one woman in the aisle saying, "Happy Memorial Day" to someone as she passed. I couldn't help but think, is that an appropriate greeting on a holiday such as today? Is it a day to say be happy or somber...or just grateful? As I sit and reflect on this day I wonder how many people really know what it's all about. To many it is merely the weekend that represents the beginning of summer vacations and activities. Some people think it is a holiday for remembering any and all dead. Wow...it saddens me that we are so easily forgetting a meaningful memorial to our nation's history. This holiday represents a memorial to all of those who have died defending the freedoms of this country...a time to show our thanks and gratitude for all of those living and dead who were and are willing to lay their lives on the line so that we continue to have the privilege of living in a free country. If you are interested in a bit more about this holiday you should check the website, www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd. Among the origins and the meaning of the holiday, it mentions the origins of the red poppies I remember seeing being worn on this day when I was a young girl. I didn't see any of those poppies today...hmmm....
So in honor of all of those who laid their lives down for the freedoms we are privileged to experience in this great nation of ours(yes...in comparison to so many other countries and in spite of its flaws, we live in a great nation), I will say a personal prayer of thanksgiving and leave you with these words:
By A. Aguilar
There is discipline in A Soldier you can see it when he walks,
There is honor in A Soldier you hear it when he talks.
There is courage in A Soldier you can see it in his eyes,
There is loyalty in A Soldier that he will not compromise.
There is something in A Soldier that makes him stand apart,
There is strength in A Soldier that beats from his heart.
A Soldier isn't a title any man can be hired to do,
A Soldier is the soul of that man buried deep inside of you.
A Soldier's job isn't finished after an 8 hour day or a 40 hour week,
A Soldier is always A Soldier even while he sleeps.
A Soldier serves his country first and his life is left behind,
A Soldier has to sacrifice what comes first in a civilian's mind.
If you are a civilian - I am saying this to you…
next time you see A Soldier remember what they do.
A Soldier is the reason our land is 'Home of the free',
A soldier is the one that is brave protecting you and me.
If you are A Soldier - I am saying this to you…
Thank God for EVERY SOLDIER Thank God for what YOU do!
For EVERY FALLEN HERO,
The ultimate sacrifice they have given is beyond any words, God Bless the
families and loved ones that have had to endure the pain of losing their HERO.
My sympathies, prayers, love and respect are with you all.