Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day

I remember my first brush with beloved cousin Michael was killed in Vietnam just days before he was due to come home. I was only 3 years old but that image still haunts me, family members sitting in the living room as the Marine Captain came from Phoenix to deliver the flag they had draped over his coffin for the trip home.  As he handed the flag to my uncle and Sylvia, Micheal's 19 year old widow, he said "I am truly sorry for your loss sir, your country owes a deep debt of gratitude to your son".

Perhaps this is why I have a true appreciation for the men and women who serve in our armed forces. I am deeply moved when I see these soldiers in their camouflage or uniforms.    I get goosebumps and  a lump forms in my throat when the nation anthem is played. Patriotic songs touch me and bring tears to my eyes, deep gratitude for the job our soldiers are doing and have done. I bawl like a baby when I see those images of the soldiers overseas, I do not know any of them personally but I feel for them and their families.

Just this week the loss of a soldier hit closer to home then I expected.  A dear friend posted about her sons best friend who was killed in Afghanistan just three months before coming home.  I have another blogging friend whose husband is a soldier who recently deployed and we pray for his safe return every day.  My son is in JROTC in high school and is considering enlisting in three years.  I am proud of his dedication and knowing his is following a long line of men in our family who have served our country since World War I.

To those who have served our country and paid the ultimate price for our freedom and those who are protecting our freedom at this very moment, I am honored and humbled. May you return safe to your families, there are many of our brave men who never come home.



Mandi said...

Beautiful tribute, Audra! That was a great prelude to Memorial day for me. Thanks!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

This is such a touching tribute Audra! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Mimi said...

Happy Memorial Day to you
it is a day we hold dear and it makes us stop for a moment and hopefully to remember to thank those who have served their country for us.
It is my great pleasure to Thank any I see, I too love the sight of any one in Uniform.
God Bless you and your loved ones

Leslie, the Home Maker said...

Oh, Audra,
What a lovely tribute to those who protect us as risk to themselves. I, too have a military family, my dad, uncles and grandfathers all served in the Army, a great uncle became a commander in the Navy and is buried in Arlington Nat'l Cemetery, my Uncle Wes, my dad's younger brother still works at the Pentagon--I even have my grandmother's brother's (another Great Uncle) WWII uniform!
My hubby's 2nd cousin 17 times removed was General William T. Sherman, whose mother was Mary Hoyt (our last name is Hoyt--now you can stalk me)!
So, your post made me cry.
What did you hafta do that for?
I love our country and those that serve us.
I'm sorry about Michael--will you see him again someday? :)
Hugs to you!
Blessings, too!

Aubrey said...

Thank you for this post! I got a lump in my throat trying to sing America the Beautiful in church yesterday. Memorial day takes on a whole new meaning when you have someone you love in war. So glad we have a holiday to recognize all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country's liberties!

Betsy said...

Thank You for such a fine tribute.
My son in law is in Iraq and is his 4th tour. America The Beautiful has always choked me up like above post by Aubrey.