Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

Memorial Day has taken on a whole new meaning for me over the past few years. While I've always been patriotic I will admit that I didn't always appreciate Memorial Day as I do now. Perhaps, it's because while I have known people who served who were no longer with us, they didn't die in war. They served, got out and lived their lives, often to a relatively old age.
I have always appreciated those who have served and sacrificed but since Kevin's last deployment where we lost people we has a whole new meaning. For me, everyday is Memorial Day, as it is I'm sure for the 4,080 families of our fallen.
I know for many, Memorial Day weekend is a chance to "escape", get out of town, eat to gluttony, drink in excess and be out in the sun until you look like a lobster. I don't admonish anyone for that, but I do hope they take a moment to realize what this day is all about. I hope they remember why it was deemed so important that a day was set aside just to observe it.
I belong to many MSN groups online and I was really upset on a thread that was started for Memorial Day. It started off with a beautiful comment on remembering what Memorial Day was all about and the responses following were much of the same. Then one person had to ruin it by posting about gas prices and other crap. I know for many people..ok maybe the majority (since the military makes up 1% of our great nation), the war and it's affects are not an everyday thing, so concerns like gas prices and other economical issues are their priority. I just wish it wasn't like that. If you can't remember the sacrifice of the many troops who have laid their lives down for the many freedoms we enjoy on a daily basis, can you just stop for the one day that was set aside to do so?
Today I will be attending a Memorial service in which our friend Bryant will be honored. Also being honored is the Soldier for whom the street we live on is named after. Everyday looking at our address, we are reminded of sacrifice.This past week while doing some geneology work, I came across the death index of what I thought could be my Uncle. We have been wondering for over 17 years what happened to him. I know my dad has needed closure as to where he might be...dead or alive. About a year ago he found out when he might have died, but there was nothing as far as location of his grave or where he died. I found his record and found out that he is buried in a VA Cemetary in Ohio. I can't even begin to explain the relief for myself, I can't imagine how my dad felt. So why do I write this? What does it have to do with Memorial Day? It made me think of the families who have not had that closure from this war and the wars that have passed. We still have thousands of servicemembers unaccounted for. We have 3 Soldiers from this war who are still listed as missing. A few months ago the remains of Matt Maupin were found and in news stories, his family said, they were just happy for the closure. So I ask all of you to stop for a moment, remember what this day is really about and think of all those who have lost and sacrificed for your freedom.
I hope that as you wake up tomorrow, you take a moment to remember all who have paid the price of freedom with their lives. I hope when you see the American Flag, you will smile and appreciate the families who have also sacrificed with their fallen hero.

We truly do live in the land of the free, because of the brave.


Amanda Panda said...

Thanks you Nadine. Beautifully written. Thanks for reminding me, and I am sure many others what tomorrow is really about.

aubs33 said...

Thanks for your insights. They really touch me. Hugs! Aubri

Shamae said...

Thanks for this post Nadine. I agree that Memorial Day is too often overlooked. Today my family and I went to a special event here in our town called Field of Heroes. It is the only like this in the nation. They have a cross for every single person who has passed away in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is pretty humbling to see over 4,000 crosses side by side. I got to speak very candidly to Sydney about our soldier's sacrafices. Instilling a patriotic view is one of the most important things I can do for my girls. They help us place our flag each morning in front of our home and we pray for all the soldiers every night. I wish more people would take time to honor those who have made the greatest sacrafice for us. Thank you for what your family and all the others do for us Nadine. Many prayers are sent your direction. I hope you know that.

Michelle said...

Growing up I was never tought patriotism, it was never something that we ever even talked about. Memorial Day was always "the begining of summer", and like you said a long weekend. It wasn't until I joined the Army at 23 did I realize the value of the day. It is truly a wonderful day that should be honored the way it was meant to be. I sat on my couch tonight watching the PBS Memorial Day Concert and just cried my eyes out for the first 30 mins. I usually don't do much in a way of honoring the fallen, besides a moment of silence and prayer, but tomorrow I think I am going to go to the post cemetary to pay my respects to those that have served. Thanks for the wonderful words of wisdom!