Sunday, May 29, 2016
What is Memorial Day for?
On the first full day of our vacation in Illinois last month, as we were driving through the city of Marseilles, just before we crossed the bridge over the Illinois River, I spied what looked like a park on the right side of the road. I directed Hubby to pull in so we could check it out. He slammed on the brakes and complied with my wishes.
Turns out this wasn’t really a park. Instead it was the Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial.
Wow. Even now, nearly two months later, I can’t write about this without tearing up.
We all know the Vietnam War Memorial Wall and most of us know someone on it, but the more recent Middle East Conflicts? We are still living through this. This isn’t history, this is current events.
The inside memorial was closed the first time we stopped, but later in the week, when it was open and we went inside, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t read any of the names or the stories. These weren’t men and women who could have been my parents or even my siblings. These are warriors who could have been my son, my daughter.
Just like my friend’s son, Ryan, who died in combat in 2009.
What is this holiday we celebrate tomorrow? And what are we celebrating? Life? Or death? Let’s hope at least we celebrate freedom, the freedom that our soldiers like Ryan fought to secure for us.