Monday, May 26, 2014

"For Them"

Can one be reverent and happy? Thankful and happy? We do it all the time on Good Friday. We even call it "Good" Friday.
Have you ever been to a Home-Going? Rowdy and sorrowful.
Like the apparent oxymoron "Happy Memorial Day." Happy remembrance of those who died so you can have a free hot dog at the community picnic!
On Memorial Day, thankfully, I have no one to whom to attach my grief. My uncles and cousins served during war time; my uncles and cousins returned. As the mother and mother-in-law of soldiers, I can't fathom celebrating a serviceman's death no matter how noble. I can, however admire a soldier's selflessness and know that is what prompted them to give the way they did. I can know that they gave their all because they were brave and loyal, because they loved their country and family, because they valued the freedoms they'd grown to love, and because they wanted their children and the children of others to value them as well. They did not put their lives on the line so I could hang my head in disgrace, or in guilt, disregard the fruits of their sacrifice. I can celebrate their courage and altruism; I can give great thanks that such people exist in this world. I can raise a glass, raise a dog, take a swim, or bow in my head in celebration and ceremony. Anything less would not honor the memory of those who perished.
As I attended Memorial Day Commemoration this morning, I saw a little girl resting on her grandpop's knee. She was holding her ears at the raucous gunfire and bagpipe music; her grandfather was trying to be heard over the din as he explained the purpose of the racket which was not at all somber. Just as the noise ceased he was yelling, "...for them!" For them, indeed!
So fire up the grill, enjoy the sun, and celebrate! Thanks to those who gave their all, we are free!
Enjoy these pics from Upland's Annual Memorial Day commemoration. They do Memorial Day right!

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