Memorial Day 2014
Memorial Day, A Whispered Reminder, and Murmured "Thank You".
My Memorial Day isn't bogged down by BBQ and drinks. It isn't with hot dogs over an open pit, and fireworks in the yard...no, it isn't any of that. In fact, today, I did the same thing I do every other day. A freedom I'm glad to have, even if sometimes, I don't really think much about it.
My daily routine is a luxury, and it's easy to forget that I have that because of others.
Today, I logged onto Facebook, drank some coffee, read a few pages in one of my favorite books, and scanned the writer's digest for new topics that might attract my interests. I watched a bit of anime, took both of my cats outside to sit in the grass...and I watched the world go by.
That's what I do when I have time to myself.
The others living on my street were having parties, and, I'd received several invitations from my friends to go to all sorts of places, but, I just didn't feel like it. When I was a kid, I would have dived head first into the festivities, and I wouldn't have given it a second thought...but, I'm twenty four years old now, I'm an adult.
I'm one of the many who sit and worry for the people who serve. This year, my mind drifted to my friends who are enlisted men and women...friends who unflinchingly serve our country without a second thought, and they won't be home until the fall for a visit.
I miss them, but I'm fortunate, because they're still here. They're merely a letter away, and that's more than I can say for some families.
Tonight, my eyes opened in a way that I'd never thought about, because I was safe. Here in the great USA, I am protected. I didn't have to worry about that kind of thing before now. My friends and I were lucky to live in a place that we have very little to fear.
It was a gift, given to me by others who had lost their lives.
Tonight, as I watched the live telecast of the Memorial Day celebration, I heard the stories of survivors, the loss of loved ones, the questions that ring in parent's minds when their children leave for basic training, and then one day, go off to war.
Through all of it, as my chest constricted tightly around my heart, I thought about my friends, who are like brothers and sisters to me...people I grew up with, went to school with...they were out there now, away from home, where I wanted them to be.
And, I realized, they're giving back the same gift we once had...
The gift of safety. Of education. Of freedom we probably wouldn't have otherwise. The ability to sleep soundly at night, comes at the expense of someone else. Someone who served still dreams of the horror they saw, of the sounds and sights they can't block out when they close their eyes.
It might not be enough, to simply say the words "Thank you", but then again, I don't think words are enough. For the families who've lost something, there is nothing I can say that could possibly be used as payment...but even so, I give those who serve our country heartfelt thanks. If I could, I would bow to those who've lost so very much, and wordlessly, I would hope to embrace them.
But, I can't do that. I'm just one person, sitting in my recliner, listening to a soft violin melody, and typing this...still, thank you. It's all I can say, but, thank you none the less.
God bless America...
Moreover, God bless the men and women of this country...America is only so beautiful because of you, and your effort to protect it, no matter what.