Remembering those who serve

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is for remembering sacrifices made for our country. For some, the images this calls to mind are painful. For me, not so much—no family member has been called upon to give the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Yet, there were hardships caused by military service: my dad, serving in the WWII air force, saw me when I was born in 1943, and then after the war was over 2 plus years later.

I’ve seen and heard glimmers of the sacrifices. There’s a friend who finds it nearly impossible to talk about his infantry combat experiences in Vietnam. I’ve been to the Vietnam War Memorial and been more moved by watching the people searching for a name, placing a memento, silently praying and remembering, than by the memorial wall.

But, one random event at Disneyland indelibly etched one meaning of sacrifice in service for country in my mind. Dan was about 4 and we were letting him scamper around an uncrowded Tom Sawyer’s Island. Another boy about his age was doing the same, so we struck up a conversation with his mother. After a bit of conversation, we asked her, “What does your husband do?” “He was killed recently in Vietnam.” Oh. Sinking feeling in pit of stomach, not for asking the question, but for the enormity of loss.

May God bless those men, women, and families who have given so much in military service.

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