So this is a picture I took this morning, at a cemetery near my house. It’s a church cemetery in a rural Kentucky town, and as in many rural churches throughout the Bible belt, there are some family names that go back for several generations. I go out there on or near Memorial Day just about every year… just to “be,” and enjoy the flag at half staff, and to quietly say thank you to the brave men and women who lived and served and died for my freedom.
Yes, my eyes get dreadfully leaky when I think about our veterans, those that we see among us and those who made the ultimate sacrifice and laid down their lives so that we – you and I, folks… this is highly personal! – would be free to eat too many burgers, lie in the sun for far too long, and do whatever we wish with this day.
And even though I’m just a blogger with a handful of followers in Nowhere, Kentucky, I think it’s important to take a minute and recognize the importance of this day. I hate that so many of our national holidays have turned into three-day drunkfests instead of the celebrations and remembrances they were intended to be. SURE! I enjoy getting out on the lake as much as anyone I know – thanks to LisaLisa and Big Daddy, I was there just yesterday. But I think we should remember and appreciate those who ensure our our freedom, because it darn sure wasn’t free at all.
My grandaddy never ate chicken after he came home from WWII. And I must say, my Granny fried some FINE chicken. My friend Papa almost never talked about his time in Vietnam. Horrible things happened there, and from what I can tell, he and his brothers in arms were treated horribly when they came home… by the very people they were representing. My Famous’ brother is very different than before he went to the sandbox.
I hate war. I’m sure most folks do. And I don’t agree with the United States going to far-flung parts of the world to keep the peace, stop the infighting and act as the self-appointed world police sometimes, especially with the troubles we have right here at home. I am certain that I don’t understand all the factors that make our elected officials decide to send troops here and there, and I’m glad that I’m not the one making those decisions that invariably get someone’s father, brother, son and best friend killed.
But I can tell you this – this ole girl will be proud of the soldiers who fight, and those who stand ready to fight. It’s kind of like “hate the sin but love the sinner,” only it’s “hate the war but love the warrior.” Some of those folks go to war and come back damaged – physically, mentally, emotionally… or some combination of the three. Some don’t come back at all.
Always remember: “all gave some, some gave all.” And as this three-day weekend draws to a close, I hope we’ll all remember… and be thankful for the freedoms that we all enjoy.