Tonight the Sky is Full of Gold Stars

Posted: May 26, 2014 in General
Tags: , , , , ,

Gold Star

This is my last Memorial Day in uniform.  Next year after 21 years of service I will be a Mister again.  I wonder how that will feel when it comes around next year.  We will still celebrate my daughter’s birthday as it always falls right around the Memorial Day Weekend.  I am pretty sure that I will take a little time to reflect on those I know who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and the families they have left behind.  Hopefully by then I will have found some other former members of the military who are familiar with the pride of having served our nation.

During your celebrations this weekend remember that there are Gold Star families who are not celebrating, but are instead memorializing  the loss of a loved one.  There is no shame in having a BBQ for your friends and families and celebrating this great nation of ours, just remember that this day was paid for with sacrifice and is much more costly than the beer and hot dogs we grill up.

Every nation I have ever been to honors their military at some point during the year.  Usually, these celebrations are just that, celebrations.  The revolve around some victory or other, usually a grand victory and as the victors history is usually written to glorify the the sacrifices of vastly out-numbered force of patriots and their stunning victory over the aggressor.  Our country however, is the only one I have ever known to simply recognize the sacrifices of those who have served and given the last full measure.

Each year on Memorial Day we honor the Fallen, and their families.  Names are read at countless services and memorial locations across the country.  Flags are posted at each and every veteran grave site across the US.  We are among the few nations on the planet that actually have veteran’s cemeteries.  I have friends throughout the country, interred at these cemeteries or laid to rest with markers denoting their service at regular cemeteries.  At the peek of any war, we have never exceeded greater than 7% of the population on active duty, but the lands of our nation are fertile with the resting places of our service members.  There are few places you can go that do not have some type of memorial to the fallen for a given area.

At some point today, 12:01 PM is the generally accepted time, take a moment to think about the sacrifices of service members and their families have made.  Even if you do not know someone directly, very few gatherings are completely without someone who has known the loss.

Whether you agree with the reasons behind the loss or not, put them aside and recognize that each drop of blood given, each soul moved on to the other side, each tear cried by a child who has lost their hero, has insured that you have the freedom to feel that way.  It is not up to us to agree or disagree with the circumstances leading to their sacrifice, it is our responsibility to appreciate what has been given to us, make things better than they were before and carry the burden of making sure their sacrifices were not in vain.

During your celebrations today place a glass of their favorite beverage out for someone you have lost and let the others know who are in attendance who it is for and what it represents.  If you or your guests have not been directly affected by loss, look up a name of someone local to you who has paid the price.  Do the same, label the seat and the drink and allow no one to sit in it or drink from it.

Honor the Fallen whether you knew them or not, they paid the price for each of us without knowing who we are.

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On Behalf of a Grateful Nation

 

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