What Memorial Day Really Is

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Last year I spent a good part of my time worrying about whether my job would be there the next day. Our company was and continues to restructure. I watched friends lose jobs. It consumed me. Those thoughts still creep into my mind from time to time. I complain about the cost of gas and theorize the many reasons I think that the price is so high. It consumes me. Sometimes I just don’t get what I want, what I think I deserve. It consumes me. Even with these thoughts I never forget how lucky I am. I have an amazing wife and even more amazing daughter. That fuels me to push through that which consumes me but there is more.

Somewhere a spouse does not know where their husband or wife is. The spouse is not gallivanting around drinking beers and cheating on them. The spouse is in the middle of an unforgiving desert or cold mountain range trying to spread democracy or save a people or catch a villain that makes Darth Vader look like Mr. Rogers. We rarely hear their stories. They rarely want to brag of what they have done. For every story where someone like bin Laden was captured or killed there are dozens of stories where a soldier takes a second to talk to a child that lives in the country we are at war with or saves an animal that wanders through the war zone they are in. Maybe the child or dog reminds them of the things at home they miss or they would hope that someone would do the same for their family. The reason is more likely to be that some people are just cut from better cloth. They are not better than others as much as they are willing to do what others are not. When I was a police officer I had a war vet on my squad. His legs looked like swiss cheese. He flew helicopters over the enemy to draw their fire so his fellow troops could advance on the ground. He covered the bottom of his helicopter with as many flack jackets as possible. The condition of his legs were the result of the bullets that the flack jackets could not catch. He never bragged of this story and I only heard it out of earshot. A pro sports player sometimes brags over his abilities as if God gave him his gift to make our life better. The stories we do not hear give us the ability to complain about the everyday little things that make us crazy. What consumes us. Veterans living and dead give you the life you have if you are an American. This weekend when you are at your cookout or beach or ballgame take a second to reflect on this. That is what Memorial Day is about. The media would rather tell you about Obama’s birth certificate or why some Republican or Democrat is a horrible choice to lead. The media will distract you. Their should be a channel that tells the stories of these heroes and what they endure, what their spouses and children endure. It is not easy to walk up to a stranger and say thanks but if you cannot do that say a prayer under your breath thanking God for their sacrifice. I created a short video to commemorate these men and women (and in some cases dogs) that have given so much I hope you enjoy. I love you all and this weekend eat some freedom fries for me!!!

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Posted on May 29, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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