Happy Memorial Day
I have heard that one of the first recorded wars was in 1400 AC. Even hundreds of years later, we continue to kill one another. We do so in the name of our Gods, in the name of self-defense, and in the name of just plain evil. Look at all of the landmark developments through the years. Look at the diseases we have irradicated. We can fly across the world in a day, but we cannot stop the need to kill each other.
At your town’s cemetery, there will be flags on the graves of those who served in the military for our country, our freedom. Their names most likely mean nothing to us, not even to their lineage, and yet we should say prayers of thanks for each of these boys, men, and women, who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The recent deaths have family members who still remember their love for their sons and daughters. Tears fall fearlessly like the troops storming the beaches of Normandy. Being the one left behind after a loved one dies, didn’t they actually pay the highest price?
The “brothers” in their units who make it home will no doubt think of their fallen comrades, but all in all their life does go on. They marry, have kids, start new careers. Their parents are so happy to hear the voice they love on the other end of the phone when they call to say “hello." For the parents of those who are lying in rest, their isn’t a phone call. They don’t have holiday schedules to figure out, because they don’t mean the same anymore. Nothing does.
Why are we hanging on to our talents to hurt, to hate because of skin color, religion, or sexual orientation? How does that black, evil heart have the kinetics to keep hate alive for so many centuries? Why don’t we seem to care? Wars are abundant, and blood runs effortlessly down the middle of the street. People barely see it as it drips down the storm drains, leaving minimal memories that there was once a body, that the blood flowing was once the life juice that kept life. But we barely take notice anymore, and I can’t understand why.
When Kuwait was invaded those many years ago, most couldn’t stop watching the news, watching those young boys called “enemy soldiers” come out of those fox holes without shoes. In this country, they would be in 8th grade, but they are fighting till death in those regions of the world. Do you remember watching those boys give up? They looked so scared, not knowing why they were in a war they understood so little about.
1400 AC. One of the first recorded wars. Yes, our technology has changed, but so little else has. Back then, were the mothers any less sad as they prepared their sons for burial? Husbands, young and dead. Maybe not from the initial wound, but from the infection that came from the surgeries with the same instruments and saws that was used on the last several men.
I know they didn’t have flags lining the crooked wooden crosses, or celebrations with strangers in life, but brothers in war saluting the fallen that left too soon. Young children asking when their daddy or mommy is coming home. How is that answered?
I read this morning that in those early years of war, that question was answered with the creation of Memorial Day. For those of you who have lost family in battles, this is so much more than for those of us who appreciate the three day weekend. To them it is as raw as the day Taps was played so flawlessly at the service. The flag tightly spun into a triangle sitting in the bookshelf, a picture of the young man in his dress blues, alive, eyes sparking. But today? He lies quiet and eternal in his death.
I would like to say thank you. To all the men and woman who lay it on the line every day for my family. Thank you to the parents who passed on the pride of fighting for freedom this country is so proud of. Our colors sit in the background of their sacrifices. I think of you today. I pray for your mothers, sisters, wives, and brothers. You are indeed a hero! I don’t know your name, I never spoke with you, and yet you gave your life. Yes, I thank you with all of my heart.
I will never forget what you did, and I won’t let my boys forget either. One day, maybe there won’t be wars. But until then, stand guard at our gates, our home. How proud of you we are! Happy Memorial Day!