Yes, it is Memorial Day. It is the day that we are supposed to remember all of those who bravely gave their lives to keep us Free. Although, for most of us it means beer and BBQ and TV. Most of us here in America don't know anyone who is currently fighting for freedom. Most of us don't know anyone who has died in battle.
As most who of you who know me, personally, know that I come from a long line of service to country on both sides of the tree. Both of my grandfathers fought in World War II, in Europe. My father was in the Air Force, my husband and two sons are Marines. My sister's husband fought in the first Gulf War. If anyone knows the sacrifice of our men and women in the military, I think that my family does. We have been extremely fortunate to not lose any of our loved ones in war, however our loved ones that have fought have not been as fortunate and we see the toll that fighting takes on them. It's permanent and it can be appeased somewhat, but that horror, that pain will never leave them and makes them appreciate peace and home all the more.
Both of my sons fought in Iraq. Being Marines they were in the shit, not sitting on the sidelines showing boys how to kick the soccer ball. Both were mortarmen and both lost significant hearing. I have no idea about what went on over there because I only wait until they want to talk about it and never, ever question too deeply, because I don't want to dredge up painful memories or cause the horrifying nightmares both of them still have. If I ever hear anyone ask either of them if they killed anyone in the war I will personally slap that person. Killing happens in war, keep your morbid curiosity to yourself. Not one single sane person joins the military because they want to kill people. They join because they feel that it's something important to fight for freedom or even just be ready to fight for it.
I will admit, I tear up when I get these e-mails about soldiers. I cry when I see news about battles in Afghanistan and Iraq and hear that good men and women have died. My sons shows me movies that their units shot in Iraq and they will laugh at some of the things I find terrifying. I realize that to some extent it's gallows humor, but I am always amazed that they found anything to laugh at. I will turn away from war scenes in a movie because the thought of my two boys facing those same sorts of scenes is too much for my mothers imagination to bear.
Freedom is worth dying for. Freedom is worth fighting for. Our brave men and women in the military who do both should not just be remembered one day a year, but prayed for daily in thanks to God for giving us such fine young people. It's fine to thank them for their service, but do not forget them until the next day we remember these folks. They do the job they WANT to do, they are all volunteers. They do it because they want all of us, not just a certain elite, to know freedom as only Americans can know it. Honor them all. Say a prayer for those who payed the ultimate price for our freedom.