My husband and I watched a television program last night dedicated to remembering veterans. A journalist interviewed a young soldier that had PTSD so severely, he could hardly sleep and during the interview, he could hardly speak without crying. He kept seeing the face of his commander that he wasn’t able to save. The young man, who went through this at the age of 18, said that after he returned from war, he would become very angry when people would complain about trivial things. He said something like, people have no idea that people are dying every day, just so they can enjoy the lives they have. It was heartbreaking to watch and even the journalist was moved nearly to tears.
We see snippets of these events, oftentimes soldiers living under conditions we can’t imagine and we think it’s terrible and then we go on about our lives. They live it, every day, and die for it and they know going in, that they may have to pay that ultimate sacrifice.
This day was proclaimed as official after the Civil War and although there appears to be much speculation as to what state started the practice (once known as Decoration Day for honoring and decorating the graves of soldiers), it’s meaning has always been the same: To honor and remember veterans (and their families) who pay the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy those backyard barbecues, parties and family get-togethers that are going on during the weekend and today and all the other freedoms that we sometimes take for granted.
This morning, we watched one of those morning news show where a general was interviewed. He has to write those letters and make those phone calls to mothers, fathers and families and give them a folded flag when a soldier is killed in action. He asked that people take a moment to remember these men and women who despite their personal/political beliefs go, without question and serve in our military to protect all of our freedoms.
I hope that you and yours have a wonderful Memorial Day and you’ll take a moment to pay homage to our veterans and their families — they deserve recognition, respect and remembrance.