Memorial Day – A day of solemn reflection
Published 6:45 am Monday, May 30, 2022
It’s odd how we have a tendency with all good intentions to say “Happy Memorial Day” to a veteran without thinking for a second that while it is a day of respect and pride in our Armed Forces, it truly represents the loss of life on the battlefield, in the jungles, on the mountain side, in the caves and tunnels, in the air and on the sea of our brave men and women who for centuries have fought to secure our homeland and that of foreign nations and who, through their sacrifice, paid the ultimate price.
It is a day when older vets and younger ones, too, gather at gravesides, monuments and memorials to stand in unity, side by side, shoulder to shoulder and honor our fallen. It is a day of recollection and memories that flood our minds and hearts of the ones we loved with all our hearts and those we and the world lost in service to our country.
I suppose sales will always be part of it, picnics with friends and discounts offered to our veterans at restaurants and stores – and that is good – but if you really look deep into the eyes of a man or woman who wears a baseball-type cap that depicts their service or that they survived World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, Pearl Harbor you know they are feeling it, remembering it, reminiscent of the pain they suffered witnessing it firsthand observing their buddies carried off and away on a stretcher or holding their hand when they spoke their dying wish.
This special day is a federal holiday set aside for our nation to mourn together for the beautiful faces and warm embraces we can no longer touch of our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and best friends. It is a time to remember that many of the patriots we have lost are an adornment or embellishment on our living room walls, library tables and nightstands. Pictures of the precious souls in their military uniforms or at baseball games when they were kids or sitting behind the wheel of their first car or truck grinning from ear to ear.
Maybe their service pins, awards and ribbons are boxed as the “Thirteen Folds of the Flag” is preserved on proud display on a shelf behind our dining room table; maybe it’s their uniform jacket that hangs neatly in the closet – not to be given away (unless to a family member who dearly loved the veteran who donned that uniform), maybe to a doting grandchild and not to be sold – oh my NO! But rather to be cherished like fine silk or golden threads.
Memorial Day offers an opportunity to do something good when you see the OBX V.F.W. Post 10950 poppy drives or members of the American Legion Post 26 at the Kitty Hawk Walmart this Saturday and Sunday and/or at other business locations where the public isn’t badgered or bothered, but simply provided a chance to donate if you wish to the good of our veterans. The little red poppy flower is given usually with or without a contribution and to say “thank you” on behalf of the soldiers, airmen, seamen and Marine Corps veterans who benefit from your generosity.
My veteran husband Billy enjoyed the poppy drives; myself and our grandson Ben have participated as well over the years and we honestly enjoyed every minute of it. People in general stopped to donate currency and change (and sometimes their check) receiving their little red poppy, almost always thanking those with the vests or donation containers, walking away with big wide grins on their face and often explaining to their little ones what the poppy represented – a precious symbol of patriotism and love of country.
Whether the gathered proceeds purchase personal toiletries, socks, shaving cream or helped to financially support a failing, unsafe set of wobbly outside steps or walkways, the money the veterans and volunteers collect is put to beneficial use resulting in incredible blessings to each of the recipients. And, without a doubt, the proceeds do go to benefit our veterans. God bless all the sweet souls who stand for hours accepting donations and the givers of help and honor on behalf of the precious lives that were lost. Their loss is monumental, no matter how long ago it was. Tears still fall, prayers are still spoken, heartache is still felt ever since their passing.
This is a time to remember – solemnly remember – and embrace the sacrifice and
I wish all the living family members of our veterans who throughout history have seen the official military car drive up; service members knock on the door and deliver the incredibly sad and very bad news, a day to know that we, as Americans, acknowledge you too. Your sacrifice, your loss, your heartbreak. You nor your loved one who passed because of their service is forgotten.
In view of the fact our nation has suffered tragedy again in the last few days, I will not address my opinion or feelings about it until next week – for this week, I choose to keep my focus on this Memorial Day as the center of our attention, our veterans, our fallen and their families deserve that. But next week, “bar the door, Katie!” I will once again drag out my soapbox, stand up on it and let it out. Our American hearts are broken. We are grieving for the families who lost their little ones and adult family members, too, and I for one need to vent.
No matter how you spend your Memorial Day, we will be thinking of you; we will be grateful for the tremendous sacrifice of your loved one and we will honor them on this dedicated day of remembrance.
Until next time, be healthy, safe and happy. Hug tightly the ones you love that are still here with you; put old family conflicts aside and do your best to forgive and hopefully forget. Look for ways to love on others in your church, at your workplace, in your neighborhood. Life is precious, life is short. Spend it as joyfully as you can and talk to our Lord when you are troubled. He is our rescue, He is our strength, He is our comforter and healer. I’m not a preacher – far from it – but I personally know and embrace God’s grace, love and forgiveness.
Thank you all for reading Gig Line, for your calls, texts, emails and snail mails, too! My email address is email@example.com; cell number is 252-202-2058 and for more Gig Line(s) check out giglineheroes.com. I love you all so much! Take care and by all means, stay tuned!