Monday, May 25, 2009

A new appreciation of Memorial Day

Over the years, I have always had a "general" appreciation for Memorial Day. I am grateful for what all the military men and women have done for "us" and our country over the last few hundred years. I must admit, though, that my appreciation has never been much more then that.

I am not sure, perhaps, maybe because I have never had an immediate family member in the military, or even a close friend. The nearest family member to serve, was my paternal grandfather who served as an Air Force Captain in WWII. He served a number of missions and was shot down twice. I did see the results of his service, however the time was so long ago it just seemed like a distant memory.

Don't misunderstand. I am very grateful for the freedoms we have in America and appreciate the sacrifices our soldiers have made to give us those freedoms. However, I just never had a personal connection. There are many people in our church, community, and friends of friends who have served, have children who served. They definitely have a connection that far surpasses any understanding I will probably ever have, unless my children choose to serve.

However, 2 weeks ago, I had a chance to talk with a guy who had just retired from the military. He had been bombed in Iraq and had just recovered from physical therapy enough to be released. You can read the rest of my post here.

Of course, this certainly isn't the same as having one of my own family members in service. However, as I talked with him and have reflected on it since, God has allowed me to finally have a level of appreciation that I have never had before. I now understand, if only a bit, the sacrifices that individuals and families make for our freedom. It is a level of unselfishness that is hard to come by, and is greatly needed and appreciated.

This Memorial Day, I am truly grateful for the sacrifices our service men and women make each and every day. I am praying for them and their families. I am praying for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line-of-duty.

Thank you all!

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