Tuesday, May 26, 2009

When I was a kid, Memorial Day meant visiting cemeteries, remembering our loved ones and other people's loved ones who had died, playing "Taps" for the local parade, and having a cook-out with friends of our family.

Today, it seems as though the cook-outs are in full force, but where is the "Memorial" part of Memorial Day? I feel sometimes as though our society has lost its way and is spending more time partying than remembering anything or anyone. I don't mean to point any fingers, just making an observation and longing for simpler times.

My family is no holier than others, certainly. We had two family cook-outs this weekend and NO cemetery visits. True, the souls of our dear ones are not sitting in those cemeteries, but it is a good place to see a concrete reminder of a life that once lived. It never hurts to stop and take a moment to remember that life...and we sure do take for granted the freedoms we enjoy at the cost of our servicemen and women. Please don't judge me as morbid, but I find nothing quite as beautiful and poignant as tiny American flags and colorful flowers marking the graves of veterans. Having marched and played "Taps" at more parades and funerals than I can remember, it never ceases to grip my heart a little bit when I think about those sacrifices made. Thank you to all who have served and are serving our country -- God bless you. Truly. And to your families, thank you thank you thank you. Your sacrifice is just as great. I pray for your wholeness and your "return to normal" post-deployment.

I still intend to visit the cemeteries of my relatives and to talk with our kids about the lives of their ancestors. I want them to think about their grandparents, great-grandparents, and uncle. I want them to think about the soldiers who died for us. So we could have our annual softball game with the cousins.

So we can visit our brothers & sisters/aunts & uncles, parents/grandparents, cousins...

So we can have the opportunity to open up our own business (like Uncle Jamey's).

So we can play catch in the backyard with our kids. Just play.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.--Psalm 33:12


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