Memorial Day. A holiday that I certainly associate with the smell of the grill. Many of us take that day off work to get together with our family and friends. Today there was talk of politics on our ride home and my stomach sank a bit. I began to feel uncertain of what my kids would have to face in their future. Would health care be a problem? What would happen to the educational system? Would freedom’s be infringed upon? I realized my feelings were not the first. I remember as a young child, hearing my dad say, “Man, times are not like they were.” And he remembers his dad saying the same thing to him.
As a kid, it was hearing my dad talk about the simplicity of the past that I think created my love for an era I really knew nothing about. But poodle skirts and sock hops sounded so innocent. Baseball was America’s favorite pastime and there was nothing like a good Ball Park hot dog. I have always been drawn to the older music, somehow wishing I could transport my family to a simpler time.
As I gazed out my window, the talk of politics became the background to my thoughts as I looked out over the freshly planted field. I took in the beauty of the rich dark dirt, outlined with the green of the tall grasses and trees. I thought it funny, now I was thinking the very thoughts my dad expressed to me some 25 years ago. I began to wonder how long this trend of thoughts has made it. For how many generations has man expressed his worry about where this country is headed. Has the fear of the future been trending sense man made his first fire. And just when discouragement was about to wrap its grip around my heart, I thought, if this has been the thought of the generations before, then not all hope is lost. Because although we have had our ups and downs, the heart of the human race makes its way through the rubble. I believe at the very depths of our being, we are love. When all else fades, and we let go of offense or our need to prove ourselves, when we stop using fight or flight as our primary mode of operation, when we let our differences fall to the way side, it is then we value each other and even the worst of enemies can set aside their feud and hold each other up. Our country was born out of a revolution that took many lives, and then built on a foundation of values and principles that emphasize life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And although we all may have different opinions on how to best carry that out, I still believe that WE believe in that foundation. Even though our fears, offenses, and inability to care for each other at times, seem to hinder us, we believe in what America stands for and we will continue to strive for that. Valleys, mountains, trials and triumphs are all a part. Through our tragedies is when I see America go back to its foundation, back to the very basis of what I believe we are all made of, LOVE. It is then we are united together once again. It is in those moments we let our differences fall away and we see what so many have given their lives to secure. One nation, under God and INDIVISIBLE, with liberty and justice for all.
And today, as I enjoy the time with my family, I say thank you to those who have sacrificed. I say thank you to the fallen soldiers, your heart lives on through each and every American living in this land today. I say thank you to those veterans and those still in service, you have paid a high price for our freedom. I say thank you the families who have waved good bye to their loved ones who fight to ensure OUR freedom.
Happy Memorial Day…