Imagine you waved good bye to your husband as he trudged off to war. He hah been there before and came home so you were concerned but less than last time. However, the unthinkable happened and now you are a young widow with a small child who spends Memorial Day visiting the grave of the husband and father who gave his life for all those who are celebrating today. You do not celebrate–you grieve for the lost love, the lost father, the loneliness that stretches into the foreseeable future.
Memorial Day, or as it was originally known, Decoration Day is a somber day to remember those who have given their lives to earn or protect the freedoms most of us take for granted. Gold Star Moms visit graves and remember the bright eyed beautiful son or daughter that they will never see in this life again. Spouses and children recall the person who helped make their house a home, but now will never pass through the front door.
Will this holiday ever be the joyful celebration to them that it is to most of us? Never in the same way for they have learned the truth behind the holiday.
Am I suggesting that we do not have the barbeques and parties? Not at all. After all, these hallowed dead sacrificed their lives so we can celebrate in a free country. However, I believe that we should spend a few moments of that day saying a prayer for the fallen and their families. As parents, we should teach our children the meaning behind the day and never let them forget who paid the price of our liberty.
Perhaps because we have a son in harm’s way this year, I have had many thoughts about the moms whose child is not at the barbeque this year and never will be again. My heart breaks for them and I hold them in my heart and send them hugs of gratitude and love.