I spent some time on Memorial Day weekend reading the many posts acknowledging those who sacrificed all they had, their time, their families and all too often, their lives for this country. I wanted to post the same sentiments but found it difficult to put what I was feeling into words. Days have not changed that, but I need to at least try to express what I am feeling about this holiday before it gets too far behind me.
At first, I thought I really didn’t know many people who have served in the military and I was certain I didn’t know anyone that had lost a loved one to war. Still, the more I thought about it, I found that there were quite a few people I knew who had been affected directly or indirectly by war.
In high school I was waiting to catch the bus that would take me to a Friday night football game. A friend of a friend was late getting to the bus stop because her family had received notice her brother had been killed in action in Vietnam. Suddenly the war wasn’t on the other side of the world; rather, it was about to board the bus with me. Even though I felt sorrow for her and her family, I felt fear and uncertainty more. That experience has popped into memory many times, usually on this holiday.
There are three men living in my neighborhood that have served: two in WWII and one in Vietnam. A co-worker years ago at the Osmond Studios was a ‘combat rat’ in Vietnam. Our family doctor was deployed several times, once having to leave his young family at the time his wife was battling ovarian cancer for several months at a time.
There are others as well. Without exception, they have a deep love for this country and a healthy respect for war. None of them came away with a light-hearted or frivolous outlook on life. I have no doubt if they were called again to serve, there would be no hesitation. In fact, I think they would be at the front of the line.
As I read through different posts, I thought of them, and the countless others that really did give everything they had to protect this land, its people and its freedoms. I have no words that will adequately thank these individuals for the life they made possible for me and my loved ones. ‘Thank you’ doesn’t come close to the thanks required, nor to the gratitude in my heart.