Every year you hear someone say "Happy Memorial Day." And why shouldn't they? Every other national holiday we say Happy (fill in the blank).
People have every reason to be happy about Memorial Day. There are great sales, great BBQs, most of them have the day off from work, so why wouldn't they be happy about it?!
I remember being happy on Memorial Day. We all consider it the first day of summer, right?! I remember being on the lake with friends or at the pool or attending a BBQ. And I love to shop. I remember being very aware of the Memorial Day sales I could participate in around my area. But then came war and Memorial Day changed for me.
Death and I were old friends before war came into my life. He took several people from me in my teenage years. Dare I say it, death and I are on good terms. I understand he has a job to do and that he does not discriminate.
Losing someone is never easy, but attending services and memorials of those killed in action it's another level of pain that is so hard to describe. I always thought a 21 gun salute and TAPS was the hardest thing to get through, try a Roll Call at a memorial. There just are no words for the sucker punch to the gut that hits you when the service member you know does not answer that call.
Then comes dealing with the cards death leaves you. We are now watching children grow up without parents and parents without their children. We are forever united over tragedy and we have had a small part in helping them heal. We are so happy to still a part of their lives, but cannot
stand the fact that they have those Gold Star pins to wear.
Our society is so detached from war, most don't even know our service
members are even still deployed, much less do they have someone to remember today. In every other war before, almost every
household was affected directly by the war. Today you have to play six
degrees of separation in some homes to find a service connection.
Maybe one day I will be truly happy again on Memorial Day, but currently the day itself carries a somber reminder that hurts my heart. Today this house will disconnect for a while to remember those who we lost in service. We ask that you do the same.
Here's a list of some of the service members we will be thinking of today. We welcome you to also remember their sacrifice and their families today as well as those who are not listed.
Erick J. Klusacek