Today is Memorial Day. I hear a lot of people say “thank you for your service.” It is becoming a trite saying for many. It makes me wonder how many really mean it. Should I be satisfied with the fact it is being said? Yes, I should. Then after the saying, the actions speak.
I truly do appreciate all that has been done for the security and wealth of our country. I did a genealogical trip about 10 years ago. I went to many cemeteries in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana, as well as Kansas and Oklahoma on another trip. The trip to the Northeast and Midwest came in the summertime, after July 4th. Every grave of every veteran from Revolutionary War on down to the most recent had a flag on it. You cannot imagine how touched we were by the sight of those flags. In some cases more than 200 years after the death of the ancestor someone, some group, still cared enough for the service done to supply the flags. That is the action.
I was a child during World War II, I remember Pearl Harbor, we were attacked! I remember the nightly news, very serious business for families to hear what was going on over there. I had a cousin and two uncles in the war, one in Europe, one in the Pacific. My father worked in “war plants.” We moved to Texas where he worked for Phillips in Borger at a plant making butadiene, a component of synthetic rubber to be used for tires for the airplanes, jeeps and other military vehicles. We were proud of that.
I remember the “Gold Star” flags seen in the windows of those who had lost a son or daughter in the war. Very somber reminders of the true facts of war.
I still do not understand the hostility shown by so many to the people who served in Vietnam war. It is an abomination to our nation to have shown such animosity to people who were drafted into service and yet they condemned them for it. Thankfully that changed with the attack of 9/11 and the war after it. I consider the Iraq and Afghan wars to be one and the same, a war against the terrorists. Many have opposed that, but only a few have dared turn their anger to the troops turning instead to divisive politics as an outlet for the anger.
Today is the day to hold dear the people who have served and those who have been left behind as they served, the families who support them. Hold dear those who paid with their lives, either through death or disability. Say a prayer for them.
My prayers today are prayers of thank you for the lives of my two brothers who served, my son-in-law who served and my grandson who served. Thank you for your service my brothers, Vic who is still with us, Jr. who is not; Mikey, as dear as my own son; and Eliot my wonderful grandson.