May 31, 2010

Lest We Forget

So often we think Memorial Day was intended as a day to remember anyone who has died, and that's fine. We need to remember those who have made a difference in our lives, and thank God for them.

Sometimes we think Memorial Day is a day to remember those who currently serving in the armed forces, and that's fine. We need to keep those who are risking their lives for us, as well as their families, in the forefront of our minds.

But Memorial Day is the day we are supposed to remember those who died in service to our country...those who paid the ultimate price for us. Perhaps, as well, it's fair to remember those who survived the wars in which they served, only to die inside from all that they saw and endured.

Today, as you eat your hot dogs, or go to a movie, or take advantage of sales at the mall, take a minute to thank God for those who have given their lives for us. Thank God for their families, and pray for His continued grace and provision for those who have been left behind.

Today, I'll think of Milton, the uncle I never met, who gave his life in the invasion of Normandy. I'll remember the letters my dad wrote to my grandmother following his brother's death, and wonder how she ever got over the loss of her eldest child. I'll think of the widow Milton left behind, and wonder what it was like for Faye to lose her husband of only 5 years...and to live as a widow for the next 50.

I'll think of my cousin, Jackie, whose life was forever changed by injuries he sustained in Vietnam on another June day, a quarter of a century after Milton's death. I'll think of Jackie's parents and his brothers because their lives were also changed on the day that Jackie was shot.

I'll think of all the men and women who have so bravely answered the call of duty, and I'll thank God for each and every one of them.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you. ~ Phillipians 1:3


  1. I went to a parade this morning and got so emotional watching the vets. And then there was a board that was hitched to a truck that had the names of the fallen. Behind that, a man walked, saying each name. That was really touching.

  2. Poignant memories, beautifully shared. Thank you.

  3. my father was a WWII vet. he was on one of the worst beaches on D-Day and was a forward observer---my oldest son tells me their life expectancy on average was about 48 hours. he was also in the black forest where the F.O. had to sit on top of the tanks to guide them through the trees as the snippers tried to shoot them. i can't imagine how terrifying that must have been. and he was in the forward group that were the first group to arrive at dachou. amazingly he survived being hit really badly 3 times. his memories of the war haunted him for much of his life. a kind and sensitive man he struggled from his grief over the men he killed while serving in the military even though he understand why it had to be that way.

    my father died almost a year ago--this is our first memorial day without him. at the end his mind went back to WWII and it was hard for my sister and i to sit at his side and watch him relive that agonizing part of his life. his experiences in the war never left him and in a very large part they defined who he became as a man. i will forever love him and honor how he served his country and gave so much for so little in return.

    i dropped by from the lady bloggers society...seems very inappropriate to comment on such a silly story to a post about the sacrifice so many in your family have given to make the world safer and better.

  4. Having never served in the military, it's hard to comprehend the experiences of those who have served. I can't begin to imagine what it would be like to watch others with whom you serve give their lives...all while you're risking your own. It would be hard to adjust to civilian life again when you're living with memories (and often injuries) that will be with you as long as you live.

  5. A good reminder of what Memorial Day is really about ... it isn't just the "unofficial start of summer."

  6. thank you, margaret, for sharing your family's
    heroes with us. you have every right to be proud.

    . . . and yes, we did grow up slower. :)

  7. Just stopping by from Lady Bloggers Society! Super wonderful blog!! :)

    { SO cute! }

    - Meg

    [Life of Meg]