Decoration Day! That's what it's supposed to be about.
I will be attending Patriot's Day in my town of Eatonton, GA from 4 until 7 pm on Thursday May 21st and stopping by the Veterans Memorial Wall. On that wall is the name of my uncle Johnny Wall who died in Vietnam in 1971. I was 6 years old. I have just one memory of him and that was at his house with him on his hands and knees being the "horse" while I was the rider. I really couldn't tell you how old I was at the time. But I was robbed a lifetime of memories. It's helped me to understand what the true meaning of "memorial" is all about. It's NOT a day where you wish someone a "happy" memorial day and it's NOT a time to "celebrate". It's a time to honor the fallen.
I come from a family with a history of service. My husband does as well. My mother's father served in the Army during WWII. My father served and his service was involuntarily extended during the Vietnam conflict although he was fortunate enough not to actually serve in a war zone. He served in the Navy.
My Donald was a "Navy Brat" moving form port city to port city during his entire childhood and teenage years. Then in his early 20's he joined the army and served during and in Desert Storm in the gulf region. My brother-in-law Kevin also served his country. My brother-in-law Andrew has spent his adult life building ships for the Navy and Air Force (although as a civilian I see this as service to his country).
So this weekend when you're at a party, having a beer, grilling steak or burgers, visiting with family and friends and enjoying a holiday weekend here in the good old US of A please take a moment to remember. Nearly every small town in America has lost a young man or woman in battle and wouldn't it be nice if you'd call them, send them flowers to their home.... let them know in some way that you realize that this weekend isn't about the "Memorial Day Sales" down at the mall or the backyard gatherings. Let them know that you appreciate the freedoms afforded to citizens of our great nation by those who fought and although lost their own lives won the battles that make our nation so great and free.
Go on Google and search "fallen soldiers in anytown, your state" and find a name and do something nice for their family. Yes, it might take a little research to find the address of the parents, the sons and daughters, the spouse left alone to carry on without their loved one. But you are getting a day off... make it count, do something of value with it. Close your eyes for just one moment and imagine it was your loved one who didn't make it home... What would it mean to you to receive a call, flowers, a note, a visit from a stranger who cared enough to let you know how much that life meant. It will only take a few minutes out of your weekend and it will mean the world to those lives you touch. So will take just a few moments out of your three day weekend to honor a fallen soldier?
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