Have you heard that song? It’s the one that talks about how some people gave everything, including their lives, but all gave something. Every year I’m reminded of that song. As a military wife, Memorial Day takes on a deep meaning to me. Memorial Day is about so much more than picnics, time off work, and whatever else we’ve turned this weekend into.
Three years ago I took my kids to Arlington Cemetery. I wanted to show them what Memorial Day was all about. I wanted them to see that they were out of school for a reason. That reason was to honor the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice and died serving our country. That was an emotional trip because we were able to go visit the grave of someone I knew, a friend of mine’s husband.
When you are removed from things, they don’t seem as pressing. Maybe you don’t have any family who’s ever served in the military, or maybe it was a grandparent or parent that’s still alive. You might understand that it’s important to remember those who lost their lives while serving, but when that shifts to someone you know personally, the meaning becomes deeper, stronger even.
It was when I was standing at that grave in Arlington that I was hit in the face with how fragile life was. I always knew it before in some way, but in that moment I realized how everything could change in an instant. In that moment, I truly felt it.
For those who didn’t die in combat, those lives are equally worth remembering. Those men and women still gave of themselves for a purpose. They put their sense of duty and country above themselves, and they did something far greater than most of us have.
My challenge to you this Memorial Day is to feel what the sacrifice means. Take time to realize that these men and women paid the ultimate price so we could all live the lives we live today. Remember what those men and women gave up so we could have. That’s how we can honor those men and women.
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