This weekend, the nation celebrates Memorial Day. Picnics and parades will commence in numerous towns and cities across America. This year the feeling is especially poignant given the number of human tragedies and natural disasters which have occurred. It has been a never-ending series of events causing pain and disbelief. We are a nation stuck in a mode of constant healing, and are wondering if there will ever be a period of calm and peace again. Storms, bombings, shootings, bullying, and economic depression have left us praying for those suffering loss and heartache. In the midst of all the chaos, comes a holiday when we honor those who have served our country. A country whose values they held close to their heart in hope of preserving our democracy and freedom.
My mother’s uncles served in both world wars. Uncle Mike served in WWI. He was given special honors for his bravery. Experiencing happenings so horrific, he actually tried to get himself shot in the leg near the end so that he could go home. Uncle Tony served in WWII. He joked that he only won the lottery once in his life. Surprisingly when he went to claim, there were thousands of other winners. Not a day went by when he didn’t have some story related to the war. A good, kind man, the effects were deep and lasting. Although parades were held in the large cities, soldiers returning to small towns and rural areas simply went home to the relief of their loved ones. Somehow their lives went on, but the experience lived with them forever.
On Monday, when people gather to celebrate in backyards, parks, and on Main Street, let’s remember our America. It remains country of enduring hope, support, and thoughts of the future. A country where people offer support to those in need and those capable of evil will never be tolerated. Areas of destruction will be rebuilt, and those lost will never be forgotten. The veterans, who served so proudly and sacrificed so much, deserve our praise for reminding us what it means to be an American, and for being the definition of love of country. God bless America.