Remembering the Fallen on Memorial Day

I'm sitting at my desk this evening and pondering. 

Looking out my home office window I watch the sun as it slips below the mountains in the distance casting amazingly brilliant red and yellow hues across the sky as if to shine out in all it's glory one last hurrah before it vanishes into the dark night sky. 
And I wonder as I consider all the lives lost on the battlefields.  Was their death one of valiant glory…one of honor? 
Who was left behind? What is their story? 

It's so easy just to think of Memorial Day as another opportunity for a three-day weekend, family cookouts, and a chance to get out on the golf course or the lake… a time to just kick back and relax. It has been that for me in years past…as I have given a quick thought and a prayer of thankfulness to God for those who were willing to lay their own lives down for my freedom.  

But for some reason this year it has me pondering. Perhaps it's my age. Being a grandmother, I can't help but think of the future of my grandchildren. Or maybe it's that I feel our country seems to be at a crossroads.  And so I reflect on the bravery of men and women who have been willing to lay down their lives serving our country, defending our borders, and sustaining our freedoms.

I also wonder. How many people really know what Memorial Day is all about?  As a young girl, I remember seeing the red poppies on Memorial Day. It's been a while since I've seen those. There is a story behind the poppies and the lady who made them popular as a symbol of Memorial Day. You can read about the red poppies and the history of Memorial Day here: Memorial Day History

Memorial Day began as a somber day of remembrance. It was actually called Decoration Day at one time because this was the day when Americans went to cemeteries to place flags or flowers on the graves of those who have died in war. A day to remember all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

This day continues as a day to honor those who have died in war in service to our country. For some, the day is a very personal one. Their own stories intermingle with those who are now gone. I live just the next town over from a very well known Naval Air Force Base. We have many young military families who attend Journey.  I have come to love and appreciate these young families. I am humbled by the level of honor and commitment they display to our country and sometimes I get just a glimpse of the sacrifice they pay.

My friend, Brittany, posted this letter today. It is from her friend's daughter…written to her daddy this Memorial Day.

So I remember that for each fallen hero there are loved ones left behind to pick up the pieces and carry on. I pray for their strength and courage as they face each new day. I ask that God will comfort them in their loss and grant to them the peace that passes understanding.  I say thank you…please know that my sympathy, respect, and prayers are with you all this day. 

As the day comes to a close, I wonder how many realize the sobering truth of this day's significance? How many have fallen? How many are left behind? Are we teaching our children to honor those who have fought and died for our freedoms?

I close with this picture and the words of one little boy named Asher…who upon visiting the Northern Nevada Veteran's Memorial Cemetery today with his sweet mama, declared, "Whoa! That's a lot of heroes!"

Remembering all those who made the ultimate sacrifice. God bless. ✝

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." - John 15:13

Have a memorable Memorial Day

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