My appreciation for memorial day seems to grow with each year. As a child I loved this holiday because we would usually go to the parade or a ceremony where I got to see really cool looking men and women in their uniforms. They looked like super hero's to me! When I was in high school I really enjoyed those ceremonies and parades even more because who doesn't love a man in uniform? My appreciation grew deeper because I knew friends who had lost family members who were serving our country. I also started to understand the stories my grandfather told me about his time overseas. My heart went out to those who were away and those who had lost their lives. To me that was the most noticeable sacrifice. This is when I began to notice that every time I saw the flag fly and heard our national anthem, or the sound of that lone trumpet- my eyes would begin to well up.
Then as an adult I married a man who serves his country daily. Not by going overseas, but by night in our own city. I realized that he was seeing and experiencing an entirely different town than I had grown to know. Each night that I lay my head on my pillow he heads off to a call that would most likely be a night mare for me. This is when I began to realize that the men and women who go overseas to serve our country don't ever return "uninjured". The things they see are unlike anything I can imagine, the circumstances they endure are unlike anything I could cope with and the pain they have to overcome may not be in the form of their life lost or a limb missing, but their heart torn from the life they gave to keep us free.
I want to deeply thank those who are away from their families right now fighting for our freedom. I want to sincerely thank those who continue living on without their loved ones, so that I may set food on free soil. But right now I would love nothing more than to embrace the ones who have returned. Whether they are actively serving or not, I now understand that the sacrifice they made was not shed the day they hung their uniform up for good. No, what I now understand is that sacrifice is one that will forever live inside of them. They gave so that we may be free. I pray that they too are able to be free. Free from whatever their hearts, minds and souls had to endure. I will never understand and I will never truly realize what goes on as a soldier stands at the front lines, but I will always be thankful.
1 year ago