Today is Memorial Day
A day when most Americans remember those who have lost their lives to war. A day when most Americans have a day off, go to a parade and bbq. This is just what we do on this day.
But for the Military community, Memorial day is a little different. We do usually have the day off, go to a parade and bbq. But we also remember those who have lost their lives. But for each of us, it gets a little more personal. Each of us knows a Gold Star family. I know of four of them personally. Four friends who became widows during our past deployments.
They are who I think about on this day.
- I think about how we all said goodbye to our husbands together, yet some did not return.
- I think about my husband telling a fellow soldier what it was like to be a Dad, only to have that soldier lose his life the very next day. His wife was pregnant with their first baby.
- I think about reading that email about the soldier who died and realizing I knew that last name. It belonged to a friend of mine.
- I think about hearing my husband talk about his buddy. How they had a lot in common. How he was a family guy too. And then receiving a phone call while I was in Vienna of all places, that he had also been killed in action.
- I think about the fence outside the elementary school in Germany with the photos of those who we had lost during that long 15 month deployment.
- I think about the little children that will never know their own fathers because they died before they were old enough to be able to remember them.
- I think about the older children that still feel the loss so greatly years later.
- I think about the Moms sending their children off to war only to get the knock on the door that they were not coming home.
- I think about the end of a Memorial service when they call for the soldier and he does not answer. I think about how heartbreaking that really is.
- I think about the table that sits empty at every Military Ball.
This is what I think about on Memorial Day. I can’t help it. As a Military spouse, I have experienced all of this. It is real. Not just something that happened 50 years ago.
So when you are enjoying your day off and having a bbq, please remember the Gold Star families who are missing someone. Remember what they have been through and what they have given up. Say a prayer and remember that freedom is just not free. It always comes with a cost.