As a wife of a man who served 6 years as a Marine, Memorial Day holds a special place in my heart. I am so thankful that he never had to fight in a war but he feels the opposite. See, his time was up just months before his platoon (that’s probably the totally wrong term to use, sorry Hubby!) was sent to Iraq. And as a Marine, that’s no bueno. It doesn’t matter how little you want to leave the comfort of your home, if you’re buddies go, your natural instincts are to go too. You’ve spent months, if not years, training with these guys. Each one learning how to not only get his job done but how to cover a buddy’s back. Hubby talked a lot about re-upping in that year his buddies were gone. He didn’t really want to go but he knew he didn’t want to be left behind. As a wife, I am so thankful he didn’t go. But I know without a doubt that if we didn’t have little ones at the time, he would have gone in a heartbeat.
In the Runningamuck household, Memorial Day is a big day. We talk a lot about all the soliders who have bravely fought to keep our country free. About all of the men and women who have died in order that we can worship our Lord in the open and not have to hide in the dark and read our one precious page from someones Bible by candlelight and in hushed whispers. It truly is amazing to me how much we take for granted. I am amazed every year, on Memorial Day, how few people even bother to fly the American Flag.
So consider this your reminder. Right now, while you have time, dig out your flag and lean it up against the wall near the front door to help you remember. If you don’t have a flag, shame on you, go buy one today. It’s not like you have to erect a huge flag pole with lights and cement and everything. A regular Old Glory costs around $15-$20 and the bracket is easy to attach to the house (or where ever you want to put it). It’ll take minutes to put it up. Do it now, so you don’t forget.
Need ideas on how to honor and remember our soldiers?
~ You can look up online a list of memorial services going on in your neck of the woods
~ Pause at 3pm Monday with the rest of the country and remember all the sacrifices made for one minute. If you are driving at that moment, turn your lights on.
~ FLY YOUR AMERICAN FLAG!!!
~ Call or write a friend or family of someone who sacrificed to say, “Thank you…”
~ Watch Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan, Flag of our Fathers, or any other war movie. It’s gruesome yes. War is. Hubby and I personally think Band of Brothers is the best of them all. It’s also the longest. But the excerpts of real veterans interspersed throughout the movie, the real life soldiers of the characters in the movie, are utterly priceless. It hits me hard in the gut every time. And it makes me thankful, of so thankful.
~ Talk with your children. Tell them. Start instilling in them now, the honor that comes with serving your country. And then teach them how to show that honor.
~ Visit any of this Memorial Day linkage:
A veteran reminds us what Memorial Day used to be.
A Marine who loses his final fight.
Take a look at some of these beautiful memorials.
Listen to any of these stories as told by the veterans themselves. They’ll touch your very core. If you’re busy, just play them while you clean or do food prep for your BBQ.