Monday, May 26, 2008

A Day to Remember...

Today is Memorial Day and I am filled with emotion on this special day. It's funny...most people nowadays think of today just as the first unofficial day of summer...the day everyone heads out to the recreation areas such as lakes and mountains. But, now being married to a man who has served our country, I have really come to see the difference. It's the day we truly honor those who served and died for our country and have given or helped preserve the freedoms that we have.

Last night, we watched the Memorial Day celebration from Washington, D.C. on PBS. At first, I really didn't want to watch it. I'm not into those kinds of shows for some reason. Last night, I discovered why. I cried a LOT during the show. They showed a lot of footage of war, of death, of soldiers hurt or dead, of Jews in extermination camps being rescued, of wars past and wars present. I was so consumed with emotion that I could barely handle it. My emotions were of anger, hurt, disgust, sadness and grief, and finally GRATITUDE. I was angry that people couldn't live in peace - that they had to use war and killing to solve their differences. I was hurt that so many lives were shattered throughout history because of war. I was disgusted by the images of death. I have always had a hard time with death and although I know that we will be together with our families someday, it is still difficult for me to see the images of killing and death.

I was incredibly saddened by all the families that have lost their loved ones. I was saddened by the pictures of vets missing their buddies, even after all these years. The grief I felt as I saw their sadness was overwhelming and the tears flowed down my face...even as they do now writing this.

But the most overwhelming feeling I had during almost the entire show was the feeling of GRATITUDE - for the sacrifice these men and women gave with their lives to ensure our freedom. Freedom from tyranny and oppression. Freedom from terrorism. Freedom from communism. Freedom from religious persecution. FREEDOM. Freedom - a word a lot of people in this world don't understand or know. THAT is why our country goes to war. To preserve our freedom and to help those in other countries gain their own freedom.

I've been alive almost 40 years (oh my.) and up until Operation Desert Storm, I'd never experienced war. I will never forget the feelings I had that day when I heard on the radio in my car, that we were officially at war. I was scared. I had thought the Vietnam war had brought "war" to an end. Well, since Operation Desert Storm, we've had Operation Desert Shield, the Aghanistan war after 9/11, and now the Iraqi Conflict (it's a war). That's 4 wars that I can think of in 17 years. That's a worse ratio than the years of WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

Last night, during the show, they played the anthems of each of the five branches of the military. Clint made us stand during each of those which our family members served in. I was proud and my heart was full as we stood during the song for the Marines, in honor of Shane, during the song for the Air Force in honor of Clint and also Uncle Ward who served in the Korean War, during the song for the Navy in honor of Clint's dad Truman who served in World War II and the Korean War, and during the song for the Army in honor of my dad who served in Vietnam and his dad who served in World War II (and maybe World War I if I remember right). I honor you and your "buddies" this day and say THANK YOU with all of my heart for the sacrifice you gave.

On another's what we did today...

We got up semi-early and went to "The Coral" (Golden Corral) for breakfast. Yum! For $8.59, what a steal! And, they are always so good to honor our vets that we felt honored to go there and support them this fine beautiful day. After that, we went to Cabela's to browse around. (C found a Cabela's back east somewhere that had a Model 55 Winchester rifle that he's been wanting and he got so excited to come home and call about it. But...when he called, they said it wasn't in too good of shape, so he passed.) On our way home from Cabela's we drove past the lot where we hope the temple will be (Update: We've now unofficially heard of the location - see Saturday's post update) and took a picture. Then, we went and got gas in the truck - ouch - $84 ($3.67 a gallon), cruised up to Big Lots to look at a bigger pool, bought two new beach towels, then headed home. C watched some TV, took a nap, and did some dishes. I worked on the Variance report for the monthly review meeting at work tomorrow, and updated my "bog". We're going to BBQ some Italian Sausages, eat some watermelon, and spend the rest of the night vegging in front of the tube. The windows and doors are still open with the cool weather, but I fear that will be over tomorrow. It's been so beautiful since last week...I can't bear to have to close up the house and blinds again! What a relaxing day it has been and it's been wonderful to just be together with each other!


Cindy said...

Well said!

Jennifer said...

Awesome pictures! Are we sisters? Because we both said pretty much the same thing, yours just more eloquently than mine!