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Monday, May 30, 2011

A Special Thanks to the U.S. Armed Forces

Today is Memorial Day in the U.S., when we take a day off from our usual activities to celebrate the sacrifices of those who have served and sacrificed as part of our armed forces.  I know my readers are probably busy entertaining friends and relatives at backyard parties or family vacations all over the U.S., but I hope they all take a minute from their day to remember the reason for this holiday!

Yesterday I got a chance to thank a Korean War veteran for his service, and he seemed surprised, even touched, to hear it. I was reminded again that everyone is permanently changed by war, even those who don't seem to have any visible scars.  They carry the memories with them everywhere, although they rarely talk about them.

It isn't just the soldiers who have tales to tell.  Also remember those who "served" with them in a less official capacity, including spouses, parents, and children.  These people spent their time worrying about them, missing them, and praying for them to arrive home safely, while at the same time trying to encourage and support them from the home front.  They have their own secret scars to carry.

I guess what I am trying to say is that, all politics aside, these people have given all or a part of their lives with the hope that our families and our way of life can go on without interruption or trouble.  Let's not minimize the fact that we have the time to debate the rightness or wrongness of things while they spend their time defending our right to that debate.  As a religious person, I appreciate this right and the sacrifices it has taken to keep it all the more keenly.  While I was in college, studying in the liberal arts, I lost a lot of confidence in the younger generations, including my own peers, that they fully comprehend what it takes for them to live as they do, or what it would be like to live without their freedoms.  I still pray that I am wrong.

So, today I'm asking you to personally thank a member of the armed forces and his or her family for your freedom--particularly your freedom of religion.  If you can't do it today, do it the next time you get the opportunity (and I'm not just talking to Americans here).  These people need to feel your gratitude and know that you care about them, even if you don't personally agree with all of their political beliefs.  This is the Christian thing to do.


Kamal said...

Thank you for the post Rache. Well written. I love the picture too.