May 26, 2012
May 28th is Memorial Day in the United States. If you are living in another country, you probably have a similar day somewhere on your calendar. Actually, it's the 4th Monday in May that's the official holiday in the US, originally it was May 30th.
It is the day we honor those who died in the service of their country in the armed forces. Originally to honor the fallen Union soldiers in the Civil War (and known as "Decoration Day" back then), it bdecame a day to honor all of the fallen from all wars. And, most folks including myself include honoring those who did come home but who have since crossed over. But the main emphasis is on those who fell in battle.
Some, like me, extend the honoring to all who fell from all countries, inclding those who fell fighting against us. We may have been at war with each other, but we are no longer and in many cases our countries have become good friends. I can honor their courage and their sacrifice, and the heartache of their families.
With the possible exception of those who intended to have a military career, most had their lives interrupted and had plans to return to resume that life once the war was over. But instead, a spouse or parent got a knock on the door with news that their loved one was not coming home.
And so, let's think about these men and women, some of whom were actually too young to be thought of as men and women until they put on their uniform. And how can we honor them?