Monday, May 26, 2014
The Spoken Words of Spirit--May 26, 2014--Memorial Day
I remember a conversation I had with my grandfather many years ago. He was so proud of his time in the service during World War II. He was about ten years older than all the others in the service, as he immediately walked in to the recruiters office when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Gramps had my mother and Uncle at home, who were born a year apart and both babies. His decision to enlist caused my grandmother a huge burden; something that he would always acknowledge to me in his last years.
While my grandfather would never give me specifics about his service, he would tell me nonchalantly about many of the horrors he either heard about or saw firsthand. It never seemed to faze him because he would always bring the conversation back to how proud he was to serve his country. Even forty years ago, it was bothering him that he felt the United States was moving in the wrong direction…too liberal for him. It wasn’t that he cared about anyone’s personal political views. He would then tell me that it was leading the country, bit by bit, towards a nation of selfishness and voices who would try to make patriotism seem like anyone who wore or flew the flag, served the country or felt honored by boasting about the USA would be made a target. I look at much of what is in the news today and cannot believe how right he was.
Gramps would tell me his biggest fear was that all the blood we spilled to protect this country and others would be for naught if everyone started to forget about the principles and intent of the Constitution. He told me that as soon as the courts approved keeping God out of one case, it was going to open the floodgates “for more lunatics to continue to come forward.” While I never considered him to be highly religious or devout until the car ride home from finding out he had terminal cancer, his perception and love of God was deep. It was the same for his country.
One day, I asked him about celebrating Memorial Day and wondered what his thoughts were that everyone was celebrating it as a “Happy” day. Expecting him to give me a long-winded lecture about the loss of perspective and disrespect, he told me it was a day we should celebrate. He felt honored to be remembered for his service, but even more strongly, it made him happy that all those who gave their lives in the name of keeping the rest of us a free nation were being held in esteem. Of course, he would go off on a tangent about people using it as an excuse to party and get drunk too, but it really struck me that he, “Mr. Patriot” felt like it was a day to be solemn and Happy. It was his view that anyone who takes the time to remember the sacrifices of the men and women who gave so much—including their families—should have a day to be elevated and lifted higher.
With that said, Happy Memorial Day to my Grandfather in heaven, to my Dad and all my other friends, family and all others who have served and protected our rights to be a loving and free country.
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