Monday, May 26, 2014
Happy Memorial Day! Thank you!
For me it isn't a day to go shopping, I probably won't have a barbecue, and I see no reason to do anything with it, except to honor those that this day is for.
I come from a very long line of veteran's. Between Hubby and I we have family members that didn't make it back from those wars they fought in to protect our freedoms and liberties. In fact I think that this current generation is the first one in probably a hundred years or better that hasn't had an active duty service member in it. But they are still young, who knows what they will decide.
I struggle, especially with it being Memorial Day, with the fact that I am okay with the fact that none of our children have decided to join the military. Because I feel there is no higher honor than serving your country. And at the same time, I feel our country has forgotten how special the gift is that each military member gives them. I don't feel the need for any more of my family or frankly anyone's family to put their loved ones in harms way for a country of ingrates.
Where I work, we service a large population of Veterans. People who have proudly given their all for a country that seems to have little concern for their welfare once they are home. I work in a city that is over populated with homeless, sadly far too many of them are veteran's of our wars that came back home and were made to feel less than.
I turn on the television, radio or any form of social media to hear that we are treating our veteran's with complete disdain and disrespect. Our VA hospitals are a shame. The very people that risked everything for us, that signed a blank check payable with their very lives for the American people, are being subjected to death panels, lack of care, complete disregard.
I am really struggling with what our country is becoming. I am proud of those men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. I am proud to say that my family has been part of that tradition from the start.
And yet I wonder how many bow their heads, whether in prayer or silence, to honor the precious gift given.
I asked on Facebook the other night what was wrong with our country. It was the first day of a three day weekend and already they were talking about 7 people being shot within two miles of where I work each day. A week or so ago two homeless men were fighting over a woman, just a block from my office. One of them is now in jail, the other is in the grave - guys she wasn't worth it.
The answers I received were thought provoking. They resonated with me just the same. We are becoming a country lacking in family values, morals and pride. If we know these things about ourselves, why can't we make a change? What is destroying us, from the inside out?
On a day like today, when we are remembering the sacrifices that gave us the freedom to make our choices. When we remember how unselfishly men and women have laid down their lives. Why can we not honor that?
Did our soldiers fight so hard for the birth of our sovereign nation to end up just like what we ran from? Taxed to bits to serve the glory of a king, queen or dictator?
Did our country undergo such a brutal growing pain as the Civil War, pitting brother against brother to insure that all men and women were free and able to pursue happiness, just to have us allow ourselves to be enslaved again to greed? Have we forgotten that the pursuit of happiness and liberty are hard earned rights not to be given away for a few "free" dollars? How have we forgotten that nothing is free, and that there is always a price.
Our country called on our young men and women to fight on the global scene in World War I and II, they proudly answered the call. After all they belonged to the greatest nation on earth, they proudly represented good, and doing what was right. Despite the tremendous cost, they answered the call. Our greatest generation.
Once we moved past those wars, fighting to defend the same rights, freedoms and liberties that we here in America enjoy, it gets a little murky. We've been engaged in global wars for a long time now. Vietnam, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan to name a few. We've lost so many. So many that weren't even given the right to decide to stand up for our country. In wars that seemed to have no rhyme or reason. More like political games played with many lives. They don't seem to have an end plan, they don't seem to be changing anything, except the lives of our troops and far too many families and civilians.
And still our troops answer the call. Their families stand silently by supporting them. But is our country?
We still send men and women off to fight wars in far away lands, we still bring them home hurt, damaged, changed or in boxes. But do we the American people even value that sacrifice any longer? Do we understand?
My husband and several uncles were Vietnam Vets, they were the first ones we choose to blame for something out of their control, for answering the call of our leaders. Far too many weren't even given the choice, they were ordered. The children my kids grew up with are the most current, far too many coming home with injuries that we cannot see or fathom.
I am so thankful for the strong men and women in my life. Family or not, that have proudly answered the call of their country. Never questioning. And today, I will celebrate those that are gone. The truest heroes our country has ever had. They didn't have a pop album, weren't movie, sports or even reality t.v. stars. For the most part they are people whose name is forgotten here on earth, except maybe to their families. They are the reason we can have false heroes.
I have had the honor of standing on the beaches of Normandy, at the base of Point Du Hoc. I have been blessed to stand among the graves of Luxumberg, and walked the hallowed grounds of Bastonge (Battle of the Bulge). I have felt the power of those places, the willingness to do what needed to be done for the greater good of our country and those who have called upon us in their time of need.
I am proud to be part of the fabric of this country. I will proudly bow my head to remember those already gone on to glory. And I will be thankful for their sacrifice on this Memorial Day!