Memorial day dawned for me as it did for so many others this morning.
The morning sun boldly broke the horizon as if to say “Let’s get to it! No time to waste!”
A light, cool wind softly stirred the trees and the songs of birds heralded the coming day with a message of hope and life renewed. If you were still and the breeze was right, you might catch the hint of salt air or the cry of a distant gull from where I stood this morning. Life continues. A soft life, despite our day-to-day toils.
For me and most of my fellow Americans, this morning promised another day of the same routine we often see on three-day weekends. We woke in our own beds, with our heads on soft pillows. There might be some cleaning up to do from the weekend’s festivities, or pictures to go through that commemorate the gatherings we enjoyed with family and friends. Or maybe even just a soft, quiet reflection as we sip our morning coffee and watch the world wake up.
But for many of us, as the sun rises or as the day goes on, the main focus of the day will be the soft, mournful cry of TAPS as it resounds over the green, monument studded hills and fields; the stark, rigid landscape of a military base; or even just in the recesses of our minds.
Today will be the day more than all the other days that we let ourselves soak a little longer in the melancholy memory of those we lost. The memory of those who stood tall to face the darker angels of humanity in order that all they love- their families, their friends and their country- might enjoy this morning’s rise of the sun, songs of the birds and caress of the breeze in peace; without the worry of desert dust in our mouth, the sound of falling shells, the rattle of morning gunfire, or the boot of a despot upon our necks.
We remember and we mourn those who understood that Freedom and Peace does not come without a cost; and that the currency can only be vigilance, honor, dedication, sacrifice and lives.
To them this day is dedicated that we might never take for granted all that we have without thought and consideration to the warriors and their families who have selflessly paid the full and ongoing price.