Memorial Day 2012

28 May

What did you do today? Did you attend a parade? Have a picnic? Spend the afternoon in the company of friends and family? Did you remember the service men and women who laid down their lives so that we may live in freedom?

Today, we remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, their lives, so that we may live without fear.While we should be tankful for these men and women every day of the year, I hope today, of all days, you took a moment to reflect, to really listen to the names of those who will never return home, to ask yourself who those individuals were. Were they married? Did the have children? What were their lives like? Did you take time today to watch out flag billowing on the wind? Or did you notice the flowers and flags in the cemeteries? Did you take a moment of silence to whisper “thank you”?

As in many towns around our Nation, we had parades and remembrance ceremonies in our small town. My little sister, Princess Macayla, marched along with the high school band in two such parades in the 90 degree weather. It was bitter-sweet, as I have now watched as an alumni (and not marched) for 5 years. I have fond memories of marching in those parades. I played trumpet in the band, and during my freshman and senior years I had the honor of playing “Taps” after the 21 Gun Salute. It was one of the highlights of my high school career.

I know what it feels like to march in the full wool uniform in 90 degree weather (BECAUSE this is a FORMAL EVENT), feeling like you want to die because it was so hot, but knowing it is a small price to pay in return for the freedoms we enjoy as a citizens of this country. So you can imagine the sadness I felt when I overheard band members complaining about wearing participial uniforms. But my spirits were brightened by the Facebook status of a senior in the band, who is already enlisted in the U.S. Marines. He said:

So our band decides to not do full dress with our uniforms for the Memorial Day parades today and kids are still complaining. Like seriously you guys suck, i know its hot but did you ever think its 75 degrees here and 110 in Afghanistan, people are cheering you on as you pass and our soldiers are getting shot at, you have to wear a polo and pants and they have to wear pants,coat,bulletproof vest,helmet,boots and more. They sacrifice their lives so that you can Live in FREEDOM and your complaining cause you have to sacrifice some of your time and a little bit of sweat? Before you think you got it bad please just remember that you get to go home to your families today and they don’t. Happy Memorial Day Everyone!

I’m glad to see that all hope is not lost for generations that are younger than me. It is individuals like this who will do great things in our community, state, Nation and world. I am so proud of this young man for reminding us (not just the members of the band) what today is about.

While theses parades are not the most entertaining, they may hold the most significance in the heart of our community. We have had our share of fallen soldiers over the years, and we have joined together to show our love and support for the families. On the back of a shirt I have that honors the memory of a local soldier who passed away 7 years ago it says:

Fallen, But Not Forgotten.

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