Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial and Decoration

It's Memorial Day here in the states.  In yesteryears, it was referred to as Decoration Day.

Me?  I prefer to call it Decoration Memorial.  Fair warning, this post may be disjointed and ramble; I lose all eloquence when I'm lost in thought.

So, why Decoration Memorial?

Decoration because of the joy I feel that they are being recognized as the amazing individuals they are.  (And yes, I mean to refer to them in the present.  Their presence continues on as long as we gather together to make sure they are immortalized.)  Decoration because of the memories they have left their families and friends, memories of family gatherings, laughter and love.  Decoration because I realize how blessed I am to have such brave individuals such as themselves that have fought to defend the freedom and safety that the rest of us often take for granted, fought to ensure the same liberties for my children.

And yet, it is still a Memorial.  Memorial because they needed to sacrifice themselves at all.  Memorial, because those families and friends are left with a permanent rift in their lives, missing forever sons and daughters, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, best friends, confidants.  Memorial because the world is short that many more good people, people who were brave and loyal, who loved their country enough to take such a leap into the unknown that comes with defending that which they hold dear.

Today, while many people hang out to enjoy the first day of the social summer, playing in the sun or making memories at parties and gatherings, I sit here feeling a bittersweet sense of pride as I ruminate on those I've known and lost.  School chums, family... I've lost my share.  I've also known my share that didn't perish, and I watch them grapple with the conflicting feelings of pride and guilt that they made it back and the family - yes, family - they risked their lives with, didn't. 

I ask simply that you take a moment out of your celebrations and think a good thought of thanks.  Send it out into the universe in whatever form suits you that you appreciate their valor. 

1 comment:

  1. VERY well said!
    My son thought this was just an excuse to have a barbeque. Great teachable moment.