Memorial Day weekend….. Are you remembering what it is REALLY all about? Today, I think about all the men and women I know/have known, including both my parents (who have long passed away), and my uncle who is living in Florida who fought in many battles and in many capacities so that I can have the many freedoms I enjoy – including writing this blog. In fact, he has been behind me and encouraging me through my techno-illiteracy and introducing me to Dragon Speak and making sure I could keep writing during chemo. He was still sacrificing for my ‘freedom’.
It saddens me that we continue to battle on so many fronts across the world. It’s an age old/history making statement. We may not wear the actual uniform, but we can be a TRUE patriot, battle alongside our comrades, and be willing to lay our lives down for the freedoms we believe it. We can remember and support those on the front lines/training with prayer, with packages, with cards or thanking them when you pass by them if you see them in uniform, no matter where they serve or are stationed. We can bring flowers and flags to our fallen commrades and to walk besides their families/generations – being ‘family” WITH them.
Several years back, I had the honor to go to Washington DC and view firsthand the various memorials. I have to say, while I knew (too) many names on the Vietnam Wall, it was the Korean War memorial that stirred me the most. Maybe it was the lighting, maybe it was because it was at night, but for me, it symbolized the hardship that each and every one of our service people go through – from basic training to boots on the ground to laying their lives down in every sense of the world.
I wish I could find the pen pal I wrote to as a class project in 8th grade. I have tried various channels, but to no avail. I value the photos he sent from Vietnam – he was a Marine, based with an Army outpost. But maybe that’s the point. I have a MEMORY of him. It will be a MEMORY that will never ever die – and not just on Memorial Day.
So this Memorial Day, while it is to remember our fallen warriors, stop and thank the ones who fight for our freedoms, and remember those who laid their lives down. Freedom isn’t FREE. I hope you never forget that.
Care Tuk is a nationally known speaker, educator, and retreat/workshop leader. She has been a school, hospital, and home health occupational therapist for more than 30 years. She has been named as a Top Business Woman in America and recognized for her work with youth, disability outreach and awareness, and the American Cancer Society.