It’s so easy for me to think Memorial Day is just a free day off, the start of summer or an excuse to bake things in red, white and blue. Myself and many others of my generation are so far removed that we forget that this day is a memorial, a day to remember those who lost their lives in combat and to honor those who have fought or are fighting for us now.
I watch shows that take place in the 50s and 60s and it’s wild to see my grandparents’ generation – where it was a given that men of a certain age fought in WWII. It’s a whole different world than it is now, our culture thought of war very differently back then. Now, unless your family member or friends are in the armed forces, it may not seem like a part of your day to day life. And honestly I’m grateful for that. I’m thankful that my dad is here with me, glad I don’t have to send my husband off to war.
But that’s not how it is for everyone. And so for those who have lost a loved one fighting for our country – thank you. Thank you for your sacrifice. For those that have fought for our country and come back scarred – physically or emotionally – thank you. Thank you that we can go on living our lives because of how you’ve fought for us. You may have been through hell and back and my words don’t begin to express how grateful our country is for you – – even when we don’t always know it. I’m sorry I can take you for granted.
If you’re anything like me, I encourage you to learn a little about the men and women serving – now and in the past. One of the biggest things that opened my eyes and broke my heart was watching Band of Brothers. I highly recommend it. It’s based on the true story of Easy Company, a paratrooper company in WWII. The episodes are interspersed with the actual men the story is about. It was amazing to see these 80 year old men talking about those days and the brothers they fought beside, heart wrenching to see these 80 year old men crying over things they saw and experienced decades ago. At the end, Major Dick Winters says one of my favorite quotes: