MISSOURI, May 25, 2017 — Memorial Day is much more than a three-day weekend of BBQ, family and the unofficial start to summer. To veterans and families who have lost loved ones in service to their country, it is a reminder of those they loved and who died in the service of their country so that people they do not know may enjoy the freedoms we have today.
Seniors have seen many wars. Since I was born, the U.S. has been engaged in 32 military conflicts to down right wars. In all these conflicts, too many have seen the death of their loved ones and, often, those that served with them in defense of their country.
To this day, the brave veterans that came home carry the physical scars of war and the emotional scars from the scourge of battle and the death of their comrades.
To give a perspective on the magnitude of loss of life to preserve our freedoms, the following is some approximate figures dealing with the American Armed Services casualties relative to a war:
World War I 116,516
World War II 405,399
Korean War 36,516
Vietnam War 58,209
Persian Gulf War 258
Afghanistan and Iraq: Over 6,800 US service members and over 6,900 contractors have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Watson Institute International & Public Affairs)
There are also the casualties from skirmishes and the fight against terrorism all over the globe.
Many other veterans survive combat but return home with injuries that later cause their death, but they are not officially counted as casualties of war.
Memorial Day is a day of family picnics or friendly get-togethers. It is also an opportunity to tell our children the true meaning of this day, including a visit to your local veterans cemetery or monument. Grandparents, with their longer memories, can join in on the significance of this day.
Discuss exactly what the brave men and women who died for America, died for. If you have never visited a veteran’s cemetery on this day of recognition, take that drive and see the awesome view.
While you are there spend the time to stand for a moment of silence and, yes, say a prayer.
It is one of the most important responsibilities that we have as a member of a freeborn society is to transmit that message of freedom to the children.
In addition to the memorial to our honored dead and those still missing in action, one cannot help but think about the “Gold Star” families who are left behind with these sad memories.
What a sorrowful time when there is a loss of a loved one for family and friends. So on this Memorial Day weekend let’s remember their heroism and think back to the happy times we shared with these “beautiful people,” as they are true heroes.
It is appropriate to close this article with the following eulogy that says it all so read it in the silence of your home and think deeply with your heart the words you read.
Eulogy for a Veteran
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the Gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the mornings hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.
God Bless our honored Armed Forces and those who are still missing in action-MIA.
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