With so much going on and graduation last week, I wrote about graduation and I know that Memorial Day was Monday and this will be after the fact. Still, I wanted to add my two cents for what it’s worth on the subject.
Everyone gets excited about the day because they get a day off from work. That’s great, but someone had to die for us to be able to celebrate this day. So we should think of it as more than a day off work or more than a day to grill out or have a get-together. Countless families wish they could do that with their military loved one who gave all.
I’m not saying don’t enjoy time with your family or the day, but I am asking that you consider the reason for the holiday and at least observe a moment of silence and remembrance. Or attend a Memorial Day ceremony, you can find one close by I’m sure. Byron usually has one each year so plan on it next year.
You need to explain to your children what Memorial Day is all about. And, please, don’t get Veterans Day mixed up with Memorial Day and vice versa.
Memorial Day was known during the post bellum period as “Decoration Day” until Congress passed the National Holiday Act of 1971. It is a day our country explicitly honors American soldiers who lost their lives in the service of their country.
If you want to take a quick look at just how many lives have been lost, Google it. It should give patriotic citizens pause. It’s quite eye opening to realize how much these American soldiers have endured and sacrificed.
The Civil War had the most casualties with an average of 420 deaths per day and a grand total of 750,000! There were over 450,000 in World War II. The dead and wounded, in all wars ,total 2.8 million plus. And there are 40,000 plus missing, who were never found from all the wars.
Those numbers make my head spin and my heart want to cry. Only Christ sacrificed more for us.
Hopefully, you took a moment Monday to reflect on those brave men and women who serve diligently, watching over our shores and defending our freedom.
I love reading Civil War stories, though some are very heartbreaking. Like the brave men at Valley Forge – shoeless and starving – who refused to abandon their posts.
And while these patriots gave all, it is those left behind who feel the pain of the loss every day and suffer every day of the year without their loved one. It is a pain some will never know or can even imagine. Unless you’ve walked in those shoes, it is hard to wrap your head around. But they have and they deal with it daily for the rest of their lives.
I hear and read posts on FB where some military wives complain about their husbands being gone so much. It’s their job; one they chose and they serve with honor so you should too. Not all complain and some are tributes to their spouses serving because they understand it.
We should be taking better care of these families as well as our veterans. But we don’t. Instead we have too many people on welfare who abuse the system or are looking for a handout without working while our veterans or those families who lost patriots in the service of their country, are forgotten and thrown by the wayside. We should be ashamed of ourselves.
Battles have always been fought and will continue to be fought to preserve the cause of freedom. Freedom is not free, it comes with a price and some pay that price with their lives.
We will continue to see direct threats against our way of life and our freedom. And heroes will continue to fall on the battlefield or as a casualty of war. Some we hear about, others we never even know about.
On Memorial Day, we should reflect not just on our fallen heroes, nor just the price paid by family and friends. We should especially reflect on our freedom those sacrifices have given us in the past and the costs to be paid by current generations if we want to continue to be free.
Freedom makes our country great and causes other counties to hate us for it. Yet, it is the willingness of each generation to fight and ultimately die for freedom that allows our country and its freedom to endure. Let us pray that we continue to raise those heroes up who are willing to fight for their country and for our freedoms, knowing that it could cost them their lives.
Even Abraham Lincoln knew we had an obligation and responsibility for our military families. In his second inaugural address, he stated: “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan–to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”
Long live liberty and may we continue to appreciate those who pay the ultimate price. Blessings to you.
VICTORIA SIMMONS is a columnist, motivational speaker/ minister and publisher/gm of The Post/Byron Buzz. Reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org