Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Truly Forgotten

    Memorial Day is approaching and it is a perfect time to discuss something that bothers me every year, 'The Truly Forgotten'. 

    Our country has designated the last Monday in May “Memorial Day” and made a 3-day holiday so that the Nation can pause to remember, mourn, and honor the heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country. 

    The past few years we have expanded that to include ‘first responders’, such as police and firefighters. We also now include those who may not have died but who nevertheless made a huge sacrifice by suffering terrible wounds (physically and mentally). 

     It is not only good that we do this, it is necessary. It helps us remember just how fragile our freedom truly is and what a terrible cost must be paid regularly to protect and ensure it.

    Yet there are a few things about Memorial Day that still bother me. 

    The most obvious is that fewer and fewer people seem to remember what the holiday is all about. It appears that more and more people seem to think that ‘Memorial Day’ is just a phrase to precede the word ‘Sale’ and that the 3-day weekend is for celebrating the start of summer with family outings and barbecues. Fortunately, there are still a great many who know what the holiday is for and remind others to stop and thank the many who have paid the price for those barbecues.

    Another thing that bothers me is that we have almost completely forgotten that those who died or suffered wounds are not the only ones whom have made sacrifices. We need to remember those who put on the uniform and stood ready to go in harm’s way but were not called upon. Men and women who nevertheless strove, toiled, and suffered long arduous hours of duty and long periods of separation. They also paid a price for our freedom. 

    Let us also remember the families of those in uniform. They too suffered and sacrificed for us.

    As we pause to remember and honor these people, we should also remember that millions who did not put on the uniform nonetheless served. People such as our intelligence analysts and agents; the secretaries and clerks; the assemblymen and factory workers; the designers and engineers making equipment and weapons; the men, women, boys and girls that assemble and send care and comfort packages to the troops; the school children that send letters to those serving in far away, lonely places; the members of legion posts and lodges that make it part of their creed to remember and to honor; the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Sea Cadets and Sea Scouts who go out and march in parades and who clean and place flowers and flags on the graves of our fallen (and the adults who volunteer their precious time to guide them).

    These are the ‘silent’ many that are truly forgotten and taken for granted. They were not called to suffer the terror of combat but they still serve. They contribute, in their own way, to protecting and preserving the precious freedom God has given us. They stand shoulder to shoulder with those we honor on Memorial Day and say to the world: 
“Liberty is sacred. It will not be taken from us. These honored dead made the ultimate sacrifice to protect it. We also stand ready to make the sacrifice if necessary. And be warned, we have a world of hurt waiting for any who try to intimidate us, to terrorize us or try to take our freedom from us!”

Today's Reflection:
Follow your dream!
-Unless it's the one where you're naked at work during a fire drill...

Live Long and Prosper...

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