/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » Happy Memorial Day!

As we all check our grills in preparation to barbeque the latest hunk of bovine on them tomorrow, let’s remember what this day is really about: thanking those among us who have served in our military and protected our rights with their valour and sometimes, with their lives.

I love the movie “The Patriot,” despite the quantity of blood that spills during the telling of the story. I’ve let Brendan watch the non-bloody parts and have begun to explain little bits of our American history–as much as a 4 y/o can comprehend. Although the movie is a fictionalized account of real events, I find it amazingly instructional when it comes to explaining the passion and valour behind the men, women, and children who saw this country’s birth and indeed walked through its labour pains.

Fast forward to today; we’re entrenched in conflict in the Middle East and I have a friend who has enlisted in the Navy, due to ship out in September. She is well aware that she may be called on to defend our country in Iraq, but her words have stuck with me: “I consider it an honour to protect my family, friends, and nation in my service.” I am so grateful for people like her who interrupt their lives (in the case of the Reserves) and who take up the mantle of protecting our freedoms.

I’m the daughter of a Marine and I have an intense appreciation for the military. Although I’m not cut out for that life, I think I have a fair understanding of what it means to be a military family and how they sacrifice in the course of their service. And I’m grateful for their sacrifices.

Last year when Brendan was 3 (and before he had a good grip on speaking), we were in a Chik-Fil-A restaurant with friends. He was captivated by 2 Army Reservists in the restaurant in uniform, and somehow, I knew what I had to do. Although my friends consider me to be outgoing, it’s a real struggle for me to speak to people I don’t know (if I know you, that’s a different story). Regardless, I picked up my son and told him that we were going over to thank those 2 soldiers. And we did. I had no idea how much it would impact me emotionally to do that, though. I got my first few words out and my voice choked up and my eyes spilled over the tears that had welled there. I thanked them for their willingness to serve, to protect, and to defend–and to try to make our country safe again for our kids. It was indeed one of the most amazing things I’ve done–impacting me and how I look at life and take too many things for granted, including our safety and freedoms.

Thank God there are others who haven’t taken those freedoms for granted and have been willing to defend them–even to the point of death. If you haven’t shaken the hand of a serviceman or woman recently and thanked them, I encourage you to do so. You’ll touch them with your gratitude, but more than that, you’ll be touched in ways you don’t expect.

So now that you’ve read my treatise on Memorial Day, go fire up those grills and barbeque those bovine chunks and patties. Enjoy your family and friends and thank God for the servicemen and women who have sacrificed to make this day a true holiday for all of us..

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/5963182 SuperMom

    I hear ya on getting all choked up. I cry during parades when the fire trucks, ambulances, and national guard or other military people go by. Everybody else waves and smiles, I sit there like a dork trying to cry quietly…..