Remembering Memorial Day

Chris going for the shot.

Memorial Day has become one of my favorite holidays.  Our country has several holidays intended to memorialize certain important events in our nation’s history, but Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of our country.  After all, it is only because there have been those who have fought and died that we can enjoy our sunny barbecues and backyard volleyball with little more than our morning commutes to weigh on our mind.  We enjoy truly extraordinary comforts in America.  A crisis for us is a broken air conditioners or poor service at a restaurant.  Most of the “inconveniences” that afflict our lives certainly pale when compared to the plights of the thousands who have huddled in muddy foxholes and bled their futures away.

I fear that many who “celebrate” Memorial Day fail to pause even momentarily to remember what this day is all about. It’s a day off work. An opportunity to fire up the grill. Maybe go shopping. In a way, these are all wonderful legacies of those who have fought to make these luxuries possible, and for as long as I can remember, these are things that I’ve also done on Memorial Day.  In fact, for each of the past, oh, eight years or so, my church gets together for a big party. We enjoy fantastic food, lots of games, and remarkably, perennial sunshine.  Thankfully, though, we also incorporate a memorial service into the afternoon.  There’s special music, prayer, and a presentation on some of our nation’s heros.

The grilling, the smoothie bar, the socializing, the softball games, the camp fires… these are all a key part of what makes this day special to me.  But let’s not forget the blood-stained fields and shattered dreams that went into making all of this possible.

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(click the full screen button on lower right to view in detail)

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