This past weekend, with it being Memorial Day Weekend, I stepped away from the festivities to reflect. I took the time to really take a step back and look at things. In my own little way, honored those who truly needed to be honored. I thought about not just our War Dead, but the families who were left behind. As they had to pick up the pieces of what do without their loved one. Here in America, they are the Gold Star Families. In Canada, we honor the mothers that have lost their sons and daughters. They are known as the Silver Cross Mothers of Canada. I am sure that most countries out there have their own way of honoring the families of their war dead.
Its funny that when you are in a military family, you get used to the lifestyle. The coming and goings. The moving, deployments, the military balls and the traditions. But there is nothing that prepares you for the reality of losing your loved one. In the Military, death is handled with tradition. Whether you are a Veteran who was lucky enough to come back home, and live out your life to it's fullest or if you have been KIA. The Military will be there to honor the service you have done for your country. You will always be a true hero in the eyes of people who respected the job you enlisted to do. But with that, the families are left in the wake of that death. The image of the flag being presented to the spouse and children, is a haunting one. Through the media and social media, its always that image that will tug at the heart strings of the nation. Its the emotion that none of us want to feel. Total utter loss and sadness. But how many will care enough to take time, to help or even recognize the pain of that image?
As I sat back and watched others celebrate their three day weekend, alcohol flowing, BBQs fired up, the celebratory hooting and hollering that summer has now started, it made me a little sad to think that there are others who would be sitting somewhere quiet, remembering those who put their lives on the line, for weekends like this. In my own reflection, it was for the families. The mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, spouses and the children. As that is who I am. I am a spouse, that worries when there is a knock on the door or when the telephone rings.As do my children, who worry about their father. Its those families that I thought about. The ones that will look at the American flag differently.They are the ones that know just what sacrifice is.
As the weekend has passed and gone, people getting back into their daily routines, it makes me wonder just how many took the time to remember. I thank those of you, who did. You are a special group of people that do indeed care. And if you are part of those people, that thought this three day weekend was about you kickin' back with a beer and BBQ ribs, then I feel bad for you. And I hope that you are never faced with the possibility of any of your loved ones being KIA or MIA. As that is a world of hurt that I don't think you are prepared for.
Looking back, I honor those who didn't come back. I honor those who didn't get to say goodbye. I honor those who have given me so much perspective. I honor those who have shown the world just what Honor, Strength and Courage really mean. You have my gratitude. Your pain has not been lost with me.
Memorial Day, who remembered?