Memorial Day

This weekend we take time to remember. Families will be placing flowers at the gravestones of loved ones and friends will be gathering to remember and celebrate the unofficial beginning of summer. But this weekend is truly about remembering those soldiers who have lost their lives serving our country.

I don’t have any family members in the military, not past or present. I don’t have anyone to share their stories of service with me. But I am profoundly moved by those families who have loved ones serving in the military, especially in this day and age. No matter how one feels about war on foreign soil, it’s the soldier and his/her family that needs to be respected and honored.

I remember when the war in Iraq began, one of the national news stations listed those soldiers that had died by saying their names and hometowns. But then the number of young men and women who sacrificed their lives were too numerous to logistically name on the evening news. My heart aches for the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, aunts, uncles, cousins who know the names … even if we don’t. The loss of one life rippling out to bring sadness to so many. A person willing to give his/her life defending the freedoms we hold so dear. (Over 4400 soldiers have died in Iraq and just over 3000 in Afghanistan.)


I have friends whose children or spouses are overseas. I marvel at their ability to keep the home fires burning knowing the danger their soldier faces. Still, young men and women volunteer to serve our country every day.

I am honored by their willingness to protect and defend our country. They will never know that one writer in southern New England and her family are praying for their safe return to their families. But I pray for them and peace for the ones who love them none the less.

I hope everyone in the US has a wonderful long weekend enjoying recreational time with their families. But I hope in all the reverie of the weekend you pause to remember those soldiers who are not only separated from their families, but may very well be in harm’s way this weekend. God Bless each and every one of them.


I’m going to preface this post by saying I have no family in the military. It’s kind of amazing actually since my family (extending on both sides) in the grand scheme of things is HUGE!

So I come at this holiday only as an observer, an American who supports soldiers and their families 110%, but who freely admits that I’m tired of having sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers killed on foreign soil every day. There is just something wrong when the Sunday morning news program showcases the losses of wars and has no problem finding families who’ve lost loved ones in the last few months.

It makes me so sad how many soldiers have been killed. I know these soldiers and their families believe in the war they’re fighting and I admire them, really I do. I’m not over in Iraq or Afghanistan. I don’t live there. I don’t know any families over there. I don’t know any soldiers who have seen the horrors going on in those countries. But I’m really just not sure fighting day in and day out in such dangerous conditions is really making the United States a safer place to live.

On this Memorial Day I say prayers for the safety of the men and women serving overseas and for their families who wait anxiously for their safe return. I hope this year will see the end of America feeling like they have to be the world’s bodyguards and bring our service men and women home.

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my family and my writing and paying bills, that I forget to pay attention to the big picture.

Today is Memorial Day.

And forgive me, but I woke this morning worrying about the band uniform and whether Little Boy Blue had all his music for the parade. Whether we were going to have chicken or pizza for dinner and whether or not the man had to work … and well … you get the idea.

I wasn’t thinking about …

I mean, I’ve been thinking about all the loved ones I’ve lost and how people I love will be laying flowers on their grave this weekend. I don’t live near any of the cementaries so I won’t be going, but until the vets walk in the local parade and the wreath is dropped in the river, I often forget who we’re truly remembering this holiday.

I might not believe in the reasons for the war, but I support the troops who have answered the call for our country. I weep for the families making the sacrifice to have their loved one in such a dangerous situation. And my heart aches for all who have lost someone you love.

A friend found this video on YouTube and I thought I would post it here as well.