The holiday has incredible meaning, especially in light of recent events in our community. I find it hard to believe that anyone would not recognize the sacrifice of our servicemen, even in peacetime. I think we take our lives for granted and have no understanding of military life…unless you have lived it.
It is hard to comprehend all that they give up. They leave spouses and children behind for months at a time, sometimes even years. They move every two years sometimes more often. Have you ever moved? If you have, you know what a major undertaking that is. If three moves is the equivilent of a fire, what is 16 moves equivilent to? The families of servicemen know how it works. They have learned to make moves as smooth as possible, but that does not change the sacrifices they make. The children have been uprooted and uprooted until they do not know where they belong. When orders come they are followed. No questions asked. It is a hard life. One that civilians no nothing about. The very least we can do is to say “thank you” one day a year. Hopefully, we do it more often than that. Thank you to the families and the men that work hard so that we can have a holiday in their honor and in their memory. Do not forget the ones that died…and their families…that is why Memorial Day was created.
Servicemen at our church were recognized today. As they returned to their seats, people stepped out to hug them and shake their hands. Hearing people say thank you outloud brought tears to many of these men and womens eyes. Is it so unusual for them to hear? It acknowledges their lives and the part the military played in their lives. When you ask an active duty soldier what they need in Iraq, they will tell you prayers and thanks. The letters from school children are their favorites, I have been told they love the letters because it reminds them of why they go, and why they fight…so the children can remain innocent and childlike. In other countries children are older than their years. They have watched people die since they were toddlers. Our servicemen do not want our children to have to live in that kind of a world. They hate war more than the people at home do. They have seen it up close. They know the damage it creates. They can taste the fear and yet they serve with courage…for you and me.
People in the military are normal everyday people. They do the same things we do everyday. There are probably people you see each day that were in the military at one time or another. There were several today that stood and came forward that I never knew served. When you meet one, or their family please say thank you. And when you know a family that has lost one say a prayer.