Growing up I think I always knew what Memorial Day was about. I knew it was to remember those who had lost their lives for our country. It was a historical thing. Kinda like how on the 4th of July you think about 1776 and what happened way back then. You think about it, you remember it but it is apart of history, not the present. Memorial Day was always the Revolutionary war, the Civil war, WW1 and WW2, Vietnam and Korea. It was always people from history that had given up so much. It wasn’t for my generation.
All that changed for me when my husband joined the Military and went on his first deployment. When us wives said goodbye to our husbands in August 2006, we had no idea how much that deployment would change things. In December 2006, my friend K was home in the US visiting family. Christmas day she got the knock on her door. She was just 19 years old. In May I was checking my email and learned who had been killed. I saw a friend’s last name and was in shock. N had 2 little boys. In July my sweet friend T lost her husband of 11 years. He was from California too. During our 2nd deployment I had taken my boys to visit my friend in Austria. I received a call and A had lost her husband. He was also one of my husband’s friends. Broke my heart in two. There were many lives lost, I didn’t know all the wives but my husband knew lot of the fallen. He told me about how a friend of his, expecting his first child ask my husband for a little advice. The next day he was gone.
Memorial Day is all about honoring the fallen. But after 2006 my view of it changed. It was now about OUR generation. It was not just for those past.
So every year since that day I feel like I spend the day in tears thinking about those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
I think most Americans do care about those who have died overseas but I think for a lot of people, Memorial Day just isn’t personal. It becomes very personal for Military families because we all usually know people personally who have lost their life in war.
It is for our generation too.
So I am just asking that today you remember. Remember those who died from all the wars America has been in and say some extra prayers for the Gold Star families of today who are still living with the pain of loss.