Memorial Day is more than a long weekend to play. Yes, it is a three-day weekend and the grills are firing up. But it is a day we recognize those who have died while serving in our armed forces. Honestly, it’s not a day of joy and fun for many families. It’s a sobering day of remembering those we have lost to the sacrifice of service.
If your family has been touched by loss like mine has, you pause, remember and pray. Our brave men and women have given their lives for our freedom. I am again, reminded of that loss.
Until I moved too far away, this is a day I used to visit my brother’s grave. When I looked at the small American flag placed on the stone, the military funeral rushes into my head. Memories of his body shipped over seas from a foreign land, a closed coffin draped by the American flag and laid in the ground, flood my mind; the military officer that appeared in our kitchen on a warm summer day to tell us he wasn’t coming home; the shock on the face of his wife when we had to tell her of his death; his two-year-old son who couldn’t understand where daddy was and why he won’t see him anymore; the second born child brought into this world without his father; and the gut wrenching tears and heartache we experienced as a family. It doesn’t go away, but lurks in the mind to always remind you.
Memorial Day is a time to remember. Are we paying attention?
This year, I urge you to pause from your hamburgers and hot dogs. Take a moment to pray. Consider a donation to an organization that helps families regroup from loss, and reach out to someone who is experiencing this holiday without a loved one. Just the acknowledgment that our service men and women are not forgotten goes a long way.
To my brother Gary, you are missed in ways I cannot express. Thank you for your willingness to put your life on the line so mine can remain free. And to the many that join me in remembering their loved ones, you are not forgotten! And we thank you for your service.