It's Memorial Day! Barbeques. Swimming. The beginning of summer.
But...really, it's not those things. It's the boy sent to Europe almost seventy years ago with a gun in his hand only to die on the shores of Normandy. It's the father of small children who fought for his life and lost it in the South Vietnamese jungles. Or, more recently, it's the boy or girl we might have gone to high school with--now one of the honored fallen because they died for OUR freedoms in a middle-eastern desert, thousands of miles away from their home and loved ones.
My best Memorial Day memories are those spent with my grandpa, a WWII veteran, in his small Kansas town. In the morning he'd raise his American flag, planting it on his house right outside the front door. Then we'd walk to the cemetery one block away and join the small gathering as men in uniform remembered the fallen. Taps would be played, followed by quiet as people remembered--especially those like my grandpa who knew those fallen soldiers personally.
Did you know that there is a National Moment of Remembrance today? Even if we don't have a chance to place flowers on a soldier's grave or to visit a War Memorial, we can join with each other by pausing at 3 p.m. and thinking on the meaning of today. And not forgetting the sacrifice they made and why they made it.