Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day

Conflicting emotions this memorial day. From seeing a country crawling out of an economic and social shut down, to what this Coronavirus means to us long term, to thinking of those who gave all in service to this Nation. Those men and women who answered the call to defend our way of life which is defined by our very freedoms.

I have many friends who died in conflict or died from visible or not so visible wounds received from their service. Some of them stand out as the very best men you could meet. And just like I told a family whose husband and father took his own life from those non-visible wounds, you can lose your mind asking why.

I envy the people who faith is so strong they don't have to ask the why. Instead, they believe they will know the answer in good time. But I still struggle with the unfairness of it all. There has to be some meaning. And if there is a meaning, at least in part has to include that they died so those they left behind could live a life worth their sacrifice.

So I am sorry that better men than me died before me. I'm sorry for the grief of their loved ones and emptiness at their families' supper tables and birthday parties. My way to honor them is to remember the shared memories, but to especially work hard not to squander the time their sacrifice gave me. Are we honoring those who sacrificed their lives for us and our freedoms by living a life that would they would say their sacrifice was worth it? I often fail.

I am going to finish this with a poem written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a surgeon during World War I, who wrote the famous poem "In Flanders Fields" after one of his friends was killed in Belgium. As they buried his friend in a field grave, wild poppies were beginning to grow between the graves. John McCrae did not make it through the Great War, dying before the end of it. Today, Red Poppies symbolize Memorial Day and honoring those lost.

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