Saturday, May 26, 2012

Forgetting is not an option-----

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

Have you thanked a military person today?

In many ways we thank our military men and women. They’re not always on foreign soil, but are ready for deployment. I can’t imagine a life of never knowing – especially in the world we live in today.

It is easier to thank those still walking amongst us as we know many who have family or friends in that “ready to go” mode or are already there.

Memorial Day is much more complicated…or it is to me.

How does one thank those who’ve died? Some many years ago in eras long gone and far removed, especially from today’s generation. I was born at the end of WWII. I’ve lived through everything that’s happened since and have an understanding through study, the ‘why’s and how’s’.

The realization finally hit me that studying and knowing is not the same as remembering and honoring.

Many of us have friends who’ve served through one or more wars. While I may readily thank them, I don’t understand what they experienced. They’re also still around. I tend to forget.

It’s with that reasoning I came to understand why Memorial Day should be a bigger deal than it is. We forget sometimes because these men and women are gone.

Abruptness of seeing those graves in stark white symmetry in D.C. visually reminded me these and so many more are buried across America and elsewhere.

Yesterday, a lady in church related a story of how her brother lost his life during WWII and was buried in Holland. She said there is a group there who have buried our men and women and through the years have handed down the honor of maintaining these sites because that is the only way they knew how to thank America for all they did for them during that time.

I sat with tears of shame. I love the military and all it stands for yet felt shamed because that country honors our dead every day and has for years done what we do one day out of a year.

Life is a blessing and often taken for granted. An extra blessing was given us in freedoms granted by service men and women who've served and laid down their own lives.

America is beautiful because of the fallen.

It remains so because of our present soldiers.

Never forget – then or now.

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