Each year I search for something that will focus on our Country, our Troops and this Memorial Day holiday. Some time ago I received the following from a friend of mine and it seems that I always come back to it.
When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush.
Colin Powell responded by saying that, “Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.”
It became very quite in the room.
I believe that there are several things that we should all do this Memorial Day (and for that matter every day moving forward). First, when we pray we should include our Country and our Troops in that prayer. Second, remember all of our friends and family members that have served our Country in the past, let them know that you appreciate their protecting our freedom. And lastly, if you have a friend or family member, or if you see someone in uniform, a member of the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy or Marine Corps, take a moment to thank them for their service and the sacrifices that they make to protect the Freedom of not only our great Country, but the world.
Brenda and I have a son (in-law) in the Coast Guard so we get to view the sacrifices members of our military make first hand. Over his years of service we have seen the pain that being apart causes. Rob is still on active duty and over the 20+ years he has served we saw and heard it in our daughter and grandchidren. We saw their faces and heard it it their voices when they ask “Where is Daddy” or “When will Daddy be home”. Even today we see our daughter struggle as she tries to answer these questions, both for herself and their childern. At one point Rob was gone for a full year, being deployed in the middle east. Also, over the years we have had the privilege to see special things that the Grandchildren did that Rob missed because of his service to our country. A first step, a smile or an accomplishment, things that have occurred in their lives that were of great importance, which he did not get to see.
Now it is even worst for us. One of our grandson’s, Taylor, has become a member of the US Army and was recently deployed to South Korea. We not only worry about him, but our son Bill and his wife Julia, along with Taylor’s sister Ashtin. It is hard on families when a love one is in the military. It is even harder when they are thousands of miles from home.
To add to all of this we now have a niece, Cortney who is in the Marines and is facing an overseas deployment at some point. We also worry about her.
I also understand, as all of us must, that this is not an isolated case. There are thousands of families experiencing the same things every day. There are thousands of men and women that each day get up with one great mission before them; to defend the rights and freedoms that we each enjoy, to defend this great and wonderful land that we call AMERICA.
Let us not forget them or those in the past. Especially, let us not forget those that made the ultimate sacrifice for this Country and for freedom across the world. Make sure that each of them knows and that their families know that we appreciate what they do. Also, in all of this, please don’t forget the brave Police and Firemen of this country. I will always remember the vivid images of them rushing towards the Twin Towers on September 11, not away from the danger, but into it as they attempted to rescue those people inside the buildings.
I know as I celebrate this Memorial Day I will remember those that serve this country and the world, those that protect the freedoms that we all enjoy. With that I want to say a special THANK YOU to Rob, Taylor and Cortney and all of those that serve our country. Hopefully, you will do the same. May God bless them all and may God bless America!!