For most of my life, Memorial Day has pretty much been the mark of summer and good cook-outs and watermelon.
My father and his brother fought in WWII, but we didn't hear a lot about it and they both came back alive and well. My father felt deeply, but didn't talk a lot about his feelings. I know that he felt something on Memorial Day and Veteran's Day, though. On each of those holidays, he flew a big American flag. It was a subtle, yet powerful reminder to him. But it didn't really hit me until yesterday.
Raney and I took our walk through the cemetery. There were quite a few people there who were cleaning tombstones and placing flowers on graves. The soldiers' memorial was surrounded by twenty-one huge American flags. And, all of a sudden, after 48 years of observing Memorial Day, it struck me what a HUGE thing all those soldiers have given for me. I don't even think I have ANY idea how huge a sacrifice they have made...and that humbles me.
So, even though you won't see a yellow ribbon on my car and even though I don't currently have an American flag flying outside my house... and even though I think war is awful and we should not even BE in Iraq,..I am grateful for the soldiers. I am grateful for their families who let them go. And, I am grateful that I live in the United States of America.