Monday, May 23, 2011

Memorial Day - 2011

There will be no Memorial Day family bar-b-que at my house this year. I won't even make it to the service at the war memorial. I am under the weather and most of my children are far away. So, this year, instead of being busy with preparations and planning a moment of reflection, I find myself just remembering... remembering "thank you"s to the Military at airports, the previously unknown Sailors we'd invite to share Thanksgiving dinner, the flag I placed at my father's grave and the flag folded in silence and given to my niece at the funeral of my little brother. Memorial Day is confusing to me. In part, I am strengthened, standing tall and proud, uplifted by the Lee Greenwood song "I'm Proud to be an American - where at least I know I'm free..." The other part of me is reduced to tears as the haunting notes of "Taps" sounding from a solitary bugle replay in my mind. I think of my brother and father and husband and of the boys in my high school classes who traded youth for a uniform and I want to say "thank you" but some are no longer here. Then I notice the red, white and blue of our flag against our clear Florida sky and I know that as long as that flag flies, as long as there are those of us who truly cherish our liberty, our fallen are never forgotten. Every Memorial Day, I find myself balancing on this same emotional see-saw, and every Memorial Day, I eventually recover my equilibrium. What I conclude is this: that Memorial Day actually is a two-sided coin: the heartbreaking sadness of sacrifice and the abundant blessing of the liberty it has secured. THANK A SERVICE MEMBER AND FLY THE FLAG PROUDLY
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