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.
I don’t know a family whose son or daughter did not return from war or one person who had to spend the rest of their life without their best friend in this manner. And I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like to go to war and to lose one or more comrades next to you in a fire fight. All I have to say is that when I think of such people I am so very grateful for their ultimate sacrifice for me and my fellow Americans and I know that I could never do what they have done for me.
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. What kind of a person is that giving? Who could be that self-sacrificing to go to war for our freedom? I can’t begin to wrap my mind around such a choice.
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 look into the faces of those veterans who are in attendance and I say a lot of extra prayers for all of those who have worn the various uniforms of those military people who have served 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. The strength and bravery of so many people from both the past and the present is just mind-boggling to me. Although I am not able to let these people know how I personally feel about their sacrifices, I am so glad that we do have a special holiday to acknowledge their accomplishments and to allow us as a nation to thank all of them and let them know what their sacrifices mean to 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.
What does Memorial Day mean to you? COMMENT.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.