This day in the United States is set aside as a day to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. To those who never came home, or came home in a flag draped box. Many died on foreign soil miles and lifetimes away from their loved ones. Let us remember them today with deep gratitude and honor. And gratitude to their families who had to learn to live their lives without those who were lost.
When I was growing up our town always had a Memorial Day parade, as did most of the towns around us. It was a small town at the time, so it was not a long elaborate affair, but it held much meaning to me and I’m sure to many others. I was a scout for most of those years as were my siblings, so usually at least some of us were participating.
It started early in the morning. As we were getting ready we could hear the rifles being fired. I never saw the Honor guard but could hear them as they moved to different cemeteries and war memorials around town. The parade route wound through downtown as we stopped at a couple of memorials where speeches were read, prayers were prayed and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
The last stop was the town cemetery for more speeches and prayers and then the roll call, where the names of veterans in the town who had died during the previous year were read. It was a time where people gave of their time on a day off to come and pay respects to those who had died. To acknowledge the part they had played in our freedom. John 15:13: “ Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Those times growing up instilled in me patriotism and deep love for my country. I am still moved to tears when I hear Taps or patriotic songs or see flags proudly waving. The town where my children grew up had many of the same traditions. I hope it helped instill in them some of the same things.
I wonder, are the children of today being taught the same things? I’m sure there are many small towns that still do these things. And I’m sure children who have parents who either serve in the military or have served have a much greater understanding of what these things mean than most of us.
I think if we don’t teach our children these things we are doing them a great disservice. They need to know that a price was paid for them to enjoy the life they have now in this country. As the old saying goes “freedom is not free”. How can we teach children to be grateful if they don’t learn what freedom and sacrifice really means?
It saddens me deeply to see so many teaching children only to hate this country and complain about all that they think is wrong with America. Yes, we have our problems but you don’t see people in boats trying to escape from America do we?
America is still the land of the free and the home of the brave. It will remain that way as long as we have those brave men and women who stand up to protect that freedom. For no other reason than love for their country. Those who will answer the call to stand against forces threatening their land.
There are some who prophesy doom, gloom and the total destruction of America. I disagree. Yes, we may have some challenges ahead but this is one nation under God. God has His hand on this nation and His purposes and plans for America WILL be fulfilled whether you like it or not.
As a citizen our job is to pray for this country and to do our part to keep it the free nation that it is. Yet there are those who do nothing besides spew hatred towards America and teach their children that America is evil. And those who try to turn this into a country it was never meant to be. Perhaps they need to remember that the only reason they can get on Facebook and rant, or to cause unrest is because of those who died so you could have that right. And those who even this day or this week are fighting for their country. To those people perhaps we could just say there’s the door. Go find that perfect utopia that you think is out there. I dare say we won’t even miss you.
God Bless America!