On Memorial Day there will be parades, memorial services, special programs and picnics. Like many other people, veterans will also take a moment to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. However, for the veterans who served along side them and were blessed enough to survive, Memorial Day will serve as a reminder of the person they knew as a friend. With this in mind, we should stop for a moment and consider what Memorial Day means to veterans.
Veterans often bear the scars, the aches and pains, and the disabilities of service. However, they typically do not ask for understanding and patience from others when they walk a little slower, if they can walk at all. They do not ask for understanding and patience from others when they hear a little harder, if they can hear at all. And they do not ask for understanding and patience when they need someone listen to their horrific memories, if they can remember at all. All they are asking for on this day is that those who are absorbed with living their lives, are oblivious to the sacrifice that others have made on their behalf, and not knowing the trials and dangers of service, would stop for a moment and think about who provided them their freedom. That these were real people, with real lives, with real families, and with real friends.
For the veterans who knew them, all they are asking for on Memorial Day is that people would place their lives on hold for just a moment. In that moment, they would listen to the stories and accounts of those they knew as friends. In doing so, it will it honor and respect the memories of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Likewise, it will inspire a whole new generation to take their place standing in the gap that separates freedom from tyranny and will ensure that their sacrifice was not in vain.
Finally, to the brothers and sisters in arms standing in harms way today. We veterans salute and thank you for standing in the gap long after our time of service has ended. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to remember our friends as one day you will remember yours. This is what Memorial Day means to veterans. May God bless you and keep you as we remember your sacrifices and sleep in peace tonight.
Biblical reference: John 15:11-12