In small towns all across America, people gathered today to remember those who served in the military and those who gave their lives serving in the military. Bands played, 21 gun salutes were given, speeches made and flags were flying.
As a kid I remember going to the cemetery and seeing the veterans in their uniforms. They made a huge impression as they stood rock still, at attention, guns smartly resting on their shoulders. There was precision in every move they made.
I remember the sound of the breeze through the trees, the slap of palms on the stocks of guns and the sharp report of the guns firing through the quiet of the cemetery. The smell of sulfur from spent shells is a vivid memory.
It was only in later years that I understood what all those little flags meant. It was only in later years that the heartbreak of lives ended too soon, in war, really hit me.
In my trip to Washington DC, last year, I had the opportunity to visit Arlington National Cemetery, as well as many memorials. There is a reverent hush in those places and it is fitting.
It is a hush that invites time for reflection on the lives lost, the sacrifices made and the hardships endured. It is a hush fit for sacred ground.
This is a day set aside to honor and remember. Let us not forget to honor those who have made the sacrifices necessary to protect us and others. Let us not forget to thank those who have served, the families of those who have served and also thank those who continue to serve in our nation’s military.
Today I say thank you to my three nephews who are serving at this time……… Sam (82nd Airborne), Kevin (Army), and Justin (Navy).
It is good for me to remember that there is a price to be paid for freedom. It is paid in sacrifice, tears, victories, defeats, despair, pain, sweat and blood. Those paying the price are our brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, dads, moms, children and friends.
It is good to have a day to remember these truths. To remind ourselves that freedom is our heritage . It is something to be protected, defended and not taken for granted. I am grateful to those who make the sacrifice to serve.
AMERICANS CAME TO LIBERATE, NOT TO CONQUER,
TO RESTORE FREEDOM AND TO END TYRANNY
Coleville cemetery-Carentan, France
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
New Living Translation