Memorial Day marks the end of school and the beginning of summer. Time to get out the flip flops and swimsuits and fire up the grill. Many take their boats out on the water and celebrate the long weekend or stay in their pajamas and watch movie marathons, maybe of old war movies. Any John Wayne fans here?
When our boys were young, Memorial Day weekend began by rising early and dressing in full uniform. Then it was off to Barrancas National Cemetery to honor the fallen by placing flags on the graves. Oh, they grumbled and moped around as any young children do. But, their father made them go and there was no excuse that was going to change his mind.
A lot is going on in our country and most of it isn’t good. We’ve fallen far from what our forefathers envisioned we could be. Many offer no thought to what they’ve inherited and some are ashamed. Well, we’re not. My husband is a proud veteran of the U. S. Navy. He and both our sons are not natural born citizens and I’ve learned a lot from them—mostly, how to appreciate more fully this country.
The photo to the left is the day David, our youngest, became a U.S. citizen and what a glorious day it was! When we left Vietnam, his country of birth, the orphanage staff held a party for him because he was going to the Promised Land—America.
Tears of joy were shed because he was not going to grow up in a communist country and live a life of government-directed servitude. He would not be restricted to a place in society determined by his ethnicity or class. As we munched on cake and cookies, I shed tears of sadness for the freedoms they didn’t have.
Take a moment this weekend to honor the fallen and teach your children what a gift they have been given. Ignore their grumbling and teach them a basic lesson in good citizenship—honoring the sacrifices of those who gave their lives for freedom.
While those who’ve gone before were not perfect and, by today’s standards, some judge them inferior, they still deserve our respect. At our house, we choose to honor them because honor never goes out of style.
If you are a veteran or related to one, may God bless you and I thank you for your sacrificial service.