FB friends are often strangers, and still, we give them validation through likes, loves, laughs and sympathy as they capture our hearts with their personal stories and lives.
Yesterday morning, a FB friend posted about a moving experience while helping out at the cemetery, posting the American flags in front of the veterans’ graves. Not only did I react to his post with heart, but my stomach was in knots and my spine shivered. An hour later, I commented on Mark’s post: Your actions are stronger than words.
As the day passed, I couldn’t stop thinking about his story.
Late that night, I sent a private message, asking Mark if it would be okay to use the picture from that post for a post on my author’s page. I planned to post his pic on Monday, along with a few words. However, after his response, I felt that in memory of all the brave veterans of the USA, it was my obligation to share the entire story with the world.
Here is what Mark wrote to me: “Would be honored. I didn't know any of the soldiers but found myself crying for them and felt unworthy to be in their presence. These soldiers gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”
Veterans on the other hand, whether we know them in person or not, are our saviors if not our angels. They are far from strangers. Do we really show them enough respect? Do we say thank you as often as they deserve? I’m not sure!
And I wonder how it happened that Memorial Day, the day when we are supposed to honor and remember our fallen soldiers, has become a BBQ day with an over consumption of alcohol, and playtime on lakes and beaches. Needless to say how ironic it is that this day now records so many casualties on the roads from drinking and driving. Where did our reverence for our fallen brothers and fathers go?
Don’t get me wrong. I am all for a good party. But maybe these celebrations should be reserved for Independence Day, when we celebrate our freedom… not when we remember those who died for our freedom.
So please take a moment this weekend to stop whatever you are doing—and reflect on those who have gone before us, on whose shoulders and backs our country stands. Remember the origins of Memorial Day and love a little deeper, care a little more for one another, and hold your family and friends a little tighter. Take the time to tell the next generation about our country’s heroes and history. Just like Mark did with his daughter.
God Bless America.