I know this is something of a departure from my usual “meditation,” but on this three-day weekend that most people think of as the unofficial start of summer and a great weekend for a barbecue, I wanted to take a moment to suggest we turn our thoughts and our hearts to those who gave their lives in the service of our nation. I found a disturbing statistic that says only one percent of the American population has served in the U.S. armed forces. And yet most of us don’t have to work tomorrow and many of us have gone camping or visiting family or taken some other trip or vacation to “celebrate.”
My father and my son are both veterans and thankfully, both of them are alive today. But how many who have served never returned home from the fields of war, and how many widows and orphans did they leave behind. We can never say enough to honor those who died for our country, but we can take a moment to thank a veteran or an active duty military person for protecting our freedom. We can thank a police officer and firefighter as well, because they also risk their lives for the rest of us. We can pray for the survivors of those who have lost their lives. We can be silent for a time in remembrance of those non-military people who died as a result of terrorism, here, in Israel, and around the world.
These are our honored dead. These are our heroes in a world that does not value heroes but instead fawns over celebrities and “progressive” causes.
We wouldn’t enjoy the freedoms we have today, including the freedom to not remember the cost of our freedom, without that brave one percent of the American people who have put on a uniform, learned the arts and weapons of war, and died for what we all should believe in so that the other ninety-nine percent should live.
How can we say “Happy” Memorial Day when the purpose of this national holiday is not a happy one at all for those who were left behind.
Remember them. Please remember them. And in their name, thank a vet for his or her service, do something kind for the surviving widow of a soldier, and the next time you see an American flag flying in the breeze, remember that the red in those stripes represents the blood of the fallen.