Today is Memorial Day.
If you choose to camp, hike, BBQ, and spend time with family and friends - as I do - what a great way to celebrate our freedom.
Even in doing so, I keep the bagpipes in the back of my mind, playing Taps. The haunting sound to which we all have a connection reverberating in my heart. I remember the soldiers, their uniforms covered in mud, sand, orange, sweat, blood… severing pieces of their humanity with each shot that takes the life of another – bad guy notwithstanding… all for OUR freedom.
I remember big, chiseled, bulletproof, manly men brought to their knees with overwhelming grief as they held comrades, brothers, friends in their arms comforting them with permission to ‘come home’, still wearing their uniforms.
My little brother is in the Army. He is stationed in another country now. He started in an infantry division. He has seen horrific things, only the least of which he has shared with this sister he tries to shelter from the depth of his sacrifice.
An angel has watched over him during his deployments; 7 so far. He had bullets pierce his helmet, his flack vest, his desert camo. Many of his brothers in arms have been sent home – to the lord – wearing their uniforms and a flag that was handed then to their dearest family members by another brave man in uniform and crisp white gloves forever stained with the action. My brother wears the names of each and every one of these brothers on his heart, etched into scars that will forever be visible.
Today I remember those men and the rest that died serving me. I remember their families and the sacrifices they have all made. And, I am grateful. My heart is full of pride, empathy, and resolve to do my best to honor that for which they laid down their lives.
Join me in celebration and remembrance of their lives.