Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day in the United States wherein we remember the noble souls who died while serving our country. We remember their sacrifice, and their self-giving love, which is summarized in the following quote from G.K. Chesterton:

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”

We also remember their families who served alongside them: shouldering the burdens of home and family in their absences, and then, in their final, permanent absence.

I remember meeting a mother of a deceased soldier, years ago. She was well into her nineties, and to my surprise, shed fresh tears over the loss of her only child, her son, who had died in war. She cried, when she spoke about him, as if his death had just happened. I was young then, and could not comprehend how she had not recovered from her loss after four decades.

I understand now.

You do not recover. 

Every flag- draped coffin is an entire world of hopes and dreams which are cut short.

A branch has been cut on the family tree. 

Yes, the tree continues on, and can flourish: we pray this for the families of the deceased, especially for their children. We pray that the loss of their loved one can be understood: that they might know that I would not be writing today, a free person, if their loved one had not been in the breach for me.

Today is a somber day where we remember the deceased, and hope that we are using what they earned for us, our freedom, to the best advantage.

May God bless America, and may the souls of our beloved servicemen, R.I.P.