Yesterday at church, the sermon was about the birth of Memorial Day. It was an excellent sermon (as most of Pastor Jeff's sermons are). It really made me think. Despite having several veterans from several different wars in my immediate family, to me Memorial Day has largely stood for the beginning of summer. Once Memorial Day had passed, school would soon be over and the hot days of summer would begin. I remember putting flowers on the grave sites of relatives and attending Memorial Day services but really, the day has also served as simply the starting point for summer.
For the first year since I moved here, there was no service held at the little cemetery across the road from us. As far as I remember, the local American Legion stopped at most of the little cemeterys in the area to honor the veterans. I really missed that today and I wonder what I can do to ensure that they come back next year. Because even though the event only lasted for five minutes, tops. It was special. And many years, my kids and I were the only people attending and it was a great way for us to remember who we have to thank for our many freedoms.
And we have so many freedoms for which to be thankful. We are so lucky to be able to worship any way we please. We are lucky to be able to own the land on which we reside. We are lucky to be able to express our opinion concerning all things. We have the right to disagree or to agree or to be apathetic. We have the right to all of things because we have had people like our veterans willing to sacrifice their lives to fight for our freedom.
I really do think of all I have. And the choices I have the luxury of making everyday. And I am humbled - not only be those who did make the ultimate sacrifice - but by those who signed up for the job knowing full well that the cost may very likely be their lives. They've done this for me and my family. And they don't even know us.
So thank you to Kristen and all of the soldiers in her unit, thanks to my dad and my uncle, thanks to all of those kids I read about every day in the newspaper who have either left for their duty or who have been injured or died while serving our country.