This, Our Memorial Day

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New Year’s Day, 2011, my husband and I were in Jacksonville, North Carolina. We had attended a New Year’s Eve Party the night before and were heading home. Before we left town, my husband turned off the road to the entrance of the Beruit Memorial. I was quiet. We were the only people there that day and I was not surprised, it was the day after the New Year’s Eve, people were getting up or getting breakfast. A chilling wind had brought leaves to the ground, littering the walkways. Any sunshine was struggling through the grey cloud cover.

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He walked along the wall, looking for a name that was buried in the “to be dealt with later” file of his memories. It was now “later”. He stopped in recognition of that name. The name of a Marine who went to Beruit, because he could not.

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I realized then why he talked of his “mission” in this life, of “God’s plan”. You don’t survive a few brushes with death, not to appreciate the gift you have been given. I understand then, better than ever before, his will to give to others a bit of himself, his expertise in his sport, in his faith, in his appreciation of life.

Today we celebrate Memorial Day, honoring those who fought for our freedoms, those that died in service of our country. Solemn recognition of the ripple affect events can have on lives that are in one instant continuing, in the next, stop short of realization. The burden weighs heavy on those that come to this knowledge. Never forget…

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