Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

I sit here early Memorial Day morning with a blank page before me wanting to write a message of reverence, respect, and honor to those who have given their lives for freedom’s sake.”  This holiday should be a day for solemn assembly of the masses (if but for a moment) to pay respect to those fallen servicemen and women who have paved our pathway of freedom with their blood.

As we scurry and hurry to head back from this long weekend’s vacation, or scramble for the huge savings the shopkeeper has promised, do we take the time to reflect and give respect to the true meaning of this holiday?”  Have we placed more importance on the things of the world versus those rights and privileges we hold, and most importantly, where they came from?

It has been almost four years since I became an American citizen.”  The choice to do so was a long, thought-out decision made by not just my heart but also my head.”  I remember the day well.”  I, along with” 9000 individuals, having come from all walks of life and many nations, were packed into a crowded auditorium joined together with this common purpose. The ceremony was very inspiring and was shrouded by feelings of gratitude and appreciation that hung heavy in the air.”  My greatest memory of this event didn’t take place during the ceremony itself, but rather at the end when all were ready to leave.”  From this group there had been 17 enlisted men and women who earlier were called up to take special seating on the stage.”  Now, at the end of this ceremony, they were escorted through the middle aisle to be the first to receive their citizenship papers.

As they began their walk, all dressed in their military apparel, I was rather surprised at the unaware crowd that chatted to one another as this march played forward.”  I, sitting approximately one third of the way back, questioned why the 3000 or more people in my view were not applauding these soldiers as they passed by.”  Most were not even noticing their presence. I turned to each girl sitting at my side and asked if they would stand up along with me in applause to these men and women.”  They both were too shy or embarrassed to take the first stand.

So there I was, in a sea of people, no longer restraining my admiration and respect of these individuals who were willing to serve this country at all costs, even sacrifice their lives if need be.”  Standing alone I faced them and applauded with loud exuberance so they would notice that I noticed who they were and what they have chosen to stand for.”  A couple of them, when turning in my direction, connected glances with me at which point I saw their questioning eyes turn to relief and then joy.”  As I continued my acclamation of respect, few before me joined in.”  It wasn’t until the last soldier passed by and I turned to keep focus on them that I realized 6000 stood on their feet behind me in grand applause.”  At that point I understood the tears that streamed down the cheek of the last soldier in line.

Whether your beliefs coincide with these men and women who have joined our forces to protect our borders and the nations of the world from tyranny, oppression and enslavement, I urge you to put personal feelings aside and take courage to stand and show respect, even if it be for a brief moment.”  These are individuals who are willing to lay down their lives for you to be free.”  This is a day set aside to show respect for those who have lost their lives defending freedom.”  But also, I wish for you to recognize many of the living who have also lost their lives in the service of theirs and other countries.” ”  Coming home from a war not respected or appreciated for their effort and seeing eyes turned away with hearts not open places them in a sea of strangers.”  To be and feel not appreciated should not be a sentence our soldiers should have to live.

So, what is it to stand to Honor?”  It is: first, taking the stand, and second, appreciating those who have sacrificed more than you are able to and recognizing their loss in doing so.

In Other’s Words:

“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free, and I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me and I’ll proudly stand next to him to defend her still today, ‘cuz there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA.”

~ Lee Greenwood~

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