Memorial Day Has Personal Meanings
My grandfather and my great uncle both served in World War II. A folded flag sits on my cousin's bookshelf in rememberance of my great uncle. The flag of my grandfather, dead nearly 25 years, is in the posession of my aunt.
It is fortunate that the real meaning of their acts are not measured in grave markers or historical dates. What they have given us can best be measured in the here and now. Today we are free, today we are prosperous, today our country is the most powerful on the planet.
What we remember is what it means for us personally. It's the telling of stories or lack thereof; it is the family member who is away from home and who is badly missed. Of all the holidays we celebrate in America, this one may very well be the most personal. It was my grandfater, and now it is someone elses' husband or father.
It is the rememberance of those who died at Buchenwald or Treblinka. Who gave their lives at Normandy or Iwo Jima. Who today face the same dangers in Baghdad and Fallujah. It is us, our families, our friends, our brothers. That is the nature of the sacrifice for those who serve in the military.
It is not the parades or the picnics or the days by the beach that matters, it is the remembrance of what it costs to be free--what it costs you, what it costs me that matters. So let us remember this Memorial Day. Let us take a moment to appreciate the price we have paid as this family called America to earn our place in the world.
And let us be thankful that we have paid that price, and let us promise that we will continue to be ready to bear that burden so that we may pass on the blessings they have left us to our children. That is what good parents do, sacrifice so that their children can hope for a better tomorrow.
And let us never forget that.
Tags: Memorial Day , Military Service , Veterans , War
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