This year, I noticed several people on social media shared a very good thought. One I needed to be reminded of.
At the end of last week’s post, I wished everyone a Happy Memorial Day. It was a sign-off, something written without giving it much thought. And then I began reading several posts that reminded us what the day was really about. It’s not a happy kind of day at all…rather it’s a day to remember and be thankful…very thankful for the sacrifice of so many.
At the same time, I received an email from a friend that was so deeply moving. I asked permission to share it. Turns out it was a compilation of two articles from Fox News. I’m including the links below but am going to reprint what he put together after reading the articles himself.
May it touch your hearts as well…as we gratefully remember.
From Robert O’Neill, the Navy SEAL who shot bin Laden:
Don’t wish me a happy Memorial Day. There is nothing happy about the loss of the brave men and women of our armed forces who died in combat defending America. Memorial Day is not a celebration.
Memorial Day is a time for reflection, pause, remembrance and thanksgiving for patriots who gave up their own lives to protect the lives and freedom of us all – including the freedom of generations long gone and generations yet unborn. We owe the fallen a debt so enormous that it can never be repaid.
From former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink (speaking as if he were a fallen soldier):
I am the fallen soldier, sailor, airman, and marine. Remember me.
I am the one that held the line. Sometimes I volunteered. Sometimes I went because I was told to go. But when the nation called – I answered.
In order to serve, I left behind the family, friends, and freedom that so many take for granted.
The machines of war evolved and changed with the times. But remember that it was always me – the warrior – that had to fight our nation’s enemies.
As technology advanced, I used night vision goggles and global positioning systems and drones and lasers and thermal optics. But it was still me, a human being, that did the work.
It was me that patrolled up the mountains or across the desert or through the streets. It was me that suffered in the merciless heat and the bitter cold. It was me that went out, night after night, to confront our nation’s enemies and confront evil face to face.
It was me.
Remember me. I was a warrior.
That I was not only a warrior. I was not just a soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine.
Remember also: that I was a son, a brother, a father. I was a daughter, a sister, a mother.
I was a person – like you – a real person with hopes and dreams for the future.
I wanted to have children. I wanted to watch my children grow up. I wanted to see my son score a touchdown or shoot the winning basket. I wanted to walk my daughter down the aisle.
I wanted to kiss my wife again. I wanted to grow old with her – and be there to hold her hand when life grew hard.
When I told her I would be with her until the end – I meant it. When I told my children I would always be there for them – I meant it. But I gave all that away.
All of it.
Or on the unforgiving sea where we fought against the enemy and against the depths of the abyss. There, in those awful places: I held the line. I did not waiver and I did not hesitate. I The Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine.
I stood my ground and sacrificed my life – my future, my hopes, my dreams. I sacrificed everything – for you.
This Memorial Day, remember me: the fallen warrior. And remember me not for my sake – but for yours. Remember what I sacrificed so you can truly appreciate the incredible treasures you have: Life. Liberty. The pursuit of happiness.
You have the joys of life, the joys that I gave up, so that you can relish in them:
A cool wind in the air.
The gentle spring grass on your bare feet.
The warm summer sun on your face.
Family. Friends. And freedom.
Never forget where it all came from. It came from sacrifice: The supreme sacrifice.
Don’t waste it. Don’t waste any of your time on this earth.
Live a life that honors the sacrifice of our fallen heroes.
Remember them always. And make every day… Memorial Day.
Until next time…Mimi