For many it is just another day
For those of us who have no personal connection to a war, or battle, or headstone, then it is somewhat difficult to have a memorial for a life we do not share.
To the soldiers in my church and community, whether they be present soldiers, or defenders of some past conflict, then I know many of them have memories of friends and fellow defenders who are no longer around – to them I see this Memorial Day meaning a lot.
In fact, until our friend, John Cole, passed away a couple of years ago, we had representatives in our church dating back to WWII. Today, Epharim Scott is our oldest soldier and he dates back to the early days of Viet Nam.
This is different from Veteran’s Day which is a day to honor all who have served in the military. Memorial Day honors those who had died while serving.
My age puts me at the end of the Vietnam war. I received in the mail information regarding the Draft around my 18th birthday in January, 1973. By March it was noted that there would be no more drafting, and by July it was law – I did not have to worry about the draft.
My dad and various uncles were in a draft system for the Korean war, and I know several of them signed up before their draft number was chosen. To my knowledge, none of them saw battle.
Mom says we lost a cousin in WWII – a flight that did not complete its mission and was never recovered from the English Channel. I do not remember who this is… Perhaps she will share here for future memories.
In 2014, I was fortunate to go to Washington DC for one reason, but had great opportunity to see many historic sites around our Nations Capital. One event was the ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. A silent 100 or so stood and waited for the quiet honor of experiencing the Changing of the Guards.
Just a few acres away was the grave of Audie Murphy, one of my wife’s favorite WWII hero’s and actor.
Just a little bit further was President JFK’s tomb, another WWII hero and president to our nation.
I guess what I am trying to suggest this morning, you may not have personal memories of someone who died in service for our country, but there are great opportunities to have an humble spirit of memory if you would just take a trip to a Veterans Cemetery. Somewhere.
I have been involved in several memorial services here over the years and I am honored to see the visible remembrances offered for those who have served, and those who have died in service.
To those with very personal memories, I offer my thanks to you and your loved ones for their sacrifices. We owe a lot for them.