I don’t know about anyone else but Memorial Day is a very special holiday to me. It isn’t because I personally had a lot of people in my family and/or circle of friends who went to war for my country because I didn’t. In fact, I don’t personally know a single person who died fighting for our freedom. Nevertheless, I am extremely moved each year on this holiday as I contemplate what type of person would go to fight for his/her country and who would ultimately give their lives for our lives here. But, as time goes by, it seems to me that more and more people have either forgotten or never even knew or understood the meaning behind this holiday and think of it only as the official beginning of Summer.
I feel so very fortunate to live in this, the greatest country in the world, and to have a military that is willing to fight for my freedoms and the freedoms of others.Barbara Jacoby
I have tried to figure out why this is so. Statistics show that more than 6.600 lives have been lost in the current war with more than 58,000 during the Vietnam War and more than 405,000 during World War II. I tend to think that the major factor may be that the armed forces were staffed by a draft, until 1971, where no system was in place to determine order of call except that men between the ages of 18 and 26 were vulnerable to being drafted because there were not enough volunteers. Therefore, every family with a male in that age range lived in fear that their son/brother, etc. could be called to serve at any time. As a result, it seems that fewer people now know someone in service to this country or had any connection to one who has lost their life.
I look at the military graveyards with the American flag beside each headstone and tears come to my eyes. These mark the lives of so many young people who sacrificed their lives for us. I can’t begin to wrap my mind around having a member of my family or a friend who gave their life so that we may enjoy the privilege of living with all of the freedoms that we have. So this year on Memorial Day as every other, I always take time to stop and think about all of these unique individuals who are my heroes. I watch the parades and the memorial services and I say a lot of extra prayers for all of those who have worn the various uniforms of those military people who gave their lives for our country. I admire every single one of them who have had strength of character that I will never know and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their sacrifices.
I feel so very fortunate to live in this, the greatest country in the world, and to have a military that is willing to fight for my freedoms and the freedoms of others. I am so glad that we do have a special holiday to acknowledge those who gave their lives for us. And I hope that we never forget what they have done to keep us free and to have all of the future generations know and respect the sacrifices that have been made to make this the greatest nation.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.