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Monday, May 26, 2008

And So We Remember...

The pages of the calendar have flipped past and Memorial Day has come again. On this day, more so than other days, my thoughts have turned with gratitude to the men and women who gave their lives so that we may be free. How can I ever express what I truly feel in my heart?

I see them in my mind, one long, seemingly never-ending line marching past as far as the eye can see. Soldiers of all classes of life, of all races, with all sorts of unique interests and lifestyles, all united by the stark, terrible, reality of death. Death too soon, too sudden. These are the men and women who made America great.
If we forget where we have come from, where will we be? If we forget our soldiers, we forget a piece of ourselves. At the end of the day, the lives that were lost, the blood that was shed, and all of the pain and sorrow will have been for nothing--will have been pointless--if we let their memory die. The dead have paid the ultimate price, and they deserve no less. I value my freedom and my rights so much and I don't think there is a day that goes by without my thinking of the men and women who enabled me to have them. I want to live my life in a way that will honor them. I want to live my life in a way they never had a chance to. If we forget...who will remember them?

Their words whisper to us across the decaying effects of time...and remind us that we've forgotten how much we really have to be thankful for. The very least we can do is support our soldiers. We owe it to them and all those who went before them.
In reality, my feet never touched the manicured lawn of a cemetery today. I don't have any close relatives with military honors to mourn. But in my heart I knelt at the foot of a forgotten soldier; I stood on Mount Suribachi where that immortal flag was raised; I reverently roamed the beaches of Normandy where the blood of so many was spilled. And I wept. With gratefulness and real sorrow. I may not have known these soldiers, but they are my heroes just the same.

2 comments:

Ella and Eleree said...

Thank you for the beautiful words, Emily. They made me remember, and be grateful.

Emma

emme said...

Emma...thank you.

~Emily