(I am sorry regarding the cropping of the above photo, blogger's not loading it correctly, please click on the image for the full view.)
Both my grandfathers served in the U.S. military during war time. Fortunately, both returned home physically whole. Although drafted during the Vietnam war, my father received a medical discharge during basic training and thus was not eligible to serve. Both my grandfathers passed away at a young age which prevented me from personally knowing them. As I grew up Memorial Day weekend was just another excuse for a block party or family Bar-b-Que.
Once my eldest son, AB, and daughter-in-law, KM, enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during the Iraq war, Memorial Day took on a whole new meaning for me. I never knew if he or she would be deployed to a war zone. I never knew if he or she would be the target of others who hate our nation and those who serve to protect our ways of life. Today, I no longer view Memorial Day as just another holiday for a block party or family Bar-b-Que. No, I somberly appreciate the sacrifices of the thousands of men and women and their families who have paid the ultimate price while in the service of our nation.
In only a few short months, I will, again, tell another child, "Thank you and remember that I love you" as he departs for his basic training in the U.S. Navy. The Lord kept His hand of protection over AB and KM during their enlistments. I trust God's sovereign plan as JP prepares to serve our nation.
I'd love to insert a beautiful poem here, but I don't really have one. However, my friend, Mrs.M, over at Evening Shade and Morning Latte posted these poems, http://frugalhomeliving.blogspot.com/2009/05/memorial-day-lest-we-forget.html. I found them to be touching and appropriate. I hope you enjoy them.
I have another friend, Mrs.P, who has a special knack for finding all sorts of things on the internet. She recently found, Map of the Fallen (http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10248763-1.html). It is an interactive Google Earth program that allows those of us here at home to see the actual site where our Iraq and Afghanistan heroes have fallen and which city/town/neighborhood he or she was from.
Today, let's remember to say a special prayer of comfort for the families of those who have given their lives while in our service. Yes, I said OUR service. Although you nor I personally signed the executive orders to send these men and women into war zones, they were/are there because we are here at home fully enjoying our block parties & cook-outs. I pray you have a blessed Memorial Day.