Honoring the Fallen!
Courage is Contagious
Billy Graham proclaimed, “Courage is Contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spine of others are stiffened.”
Honoring the Fallen! Never Forgotten? Hmmm… never forgotten? Really? Where in most Memorial Day celebrations, unless you’re with a family or community of inactive or active service personnel, do you hear stories of valor and selfless acts of bravery that proclaim this great caliber as to why we celebrate Memorial Day?
Forgive Us For Not Recognizing Our Fallen!
Sadly, it seems there is more recognition geared towards retail sales advertisements along with the hustle and bustle ushering in the first big holiday announcing summertime. These preparations for the festivities are great; you know, family gatherings, coming together, barbecuing, boating, camping, traveling with the additional three-day weekend, but what about carving out time to honor the fallen which is the sole purpose of Memorial Day?
There is nothing wrong with the excitement in getting together with our family and friends to unwind and celebrate; we all need that! But what about the fallen heroes and their families that have lost so much, their precious and valued loved ones, due to their sacrificial service for our freedom? How are they being remembered? They are searching for this gratitude and consolation in our festivities that have seemed to be glossed over.
Where is the tribute and honor that should be at the forefront of our celebrations for our fallen heroes on Memorial Day?
Where is the dedicated time for this tribute and recognition that brought us freedom? Where does the honor, the respect, the remembrance, and the salutation fit into our celebratory festivities this Memorial Day weekend? After all, our great nation was built on the freedom that these fallen heroes died for! That deserves recognition.
The ocean tears that have been released by mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, families, and the many innocent children that look for comfort from a nation that pauses to think about, honor and celebrate what their loved one selflessly gave to have this freedom extended is non-existent and quite neglected.
If you've ever had to comfort a grieving soul who just learned of their loved one's death, there is nothing more dreadful and heartbreaking than delivering the piercing words, "I'm sorry, but your loved one was killed in the line of duty serving his/her country."
Being honest here, when I was raising my children, I looked forward to having an extra day off with the announcement that summertime was near. Any excuse to celebrate was quite a gift. Memorial Day just meant getting the boat ready and the family together for a couple of
days spent on the water without any further forethought. Tragic!
Where is the honor, recognition and respect geared towards our fallen heroes and their families acknowledging how they dedicated and sacrificed their lives? This is the pure definition of what is called a beautiful exchange. Can we start teaching our children and share with our families the significance of what Memorial Day deserves? We can testify to this valor of great sacrifice by sharing a few of the following quotes:
"The willingness of America's veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude." - Jeff Miller
"The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example." - Benjamin Disraeli
Can we maybe start proclaiming how we're proud to be Americans and express our gratitude for the meaning behind Memorial Day? This honor will offer golden nuggets of comfort to the fallen and their families to carry close to their hearts reminding them that their lives mattered and won't be forgotten, nor were their deaths in vain.
Maybe while we're vacationing, we can even share with others the significance while honoring the millions of soldiers who lost their lives. Speak it while engaging with others.
There is nothing wrong with celebrating, but putting at the forefront what all of our Fallen Heroes have achieved will keep their legacy alive and one in which will never be forgotten. It's a gratitude for blessing us with a privilege that we often take for granted. We are reaping the harvest from the seeds they dropped during their bout of courage and dedication. What a gift that keeps on giving, but it needs watering and cultivating!
By the way, Memorial Day originated way back in the late 1800's, but was enacted following the Civil War where many Americans started honoring the soldiers who lost their lives by decorating their graves. Beautiful, isn't it? It wasn't until 1971 that it was deemed a National holiday and celebrated as such through the passing of the National Holiday Act.
"Those that die for a good cause... hover as a cloud of witnesses over the nation." Henry Ward Beecher.
Let us never forget our fallen heroes and their families. After all, as John F. Kennedy stated, "Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country."