Memorial Day Reflections

Mon, May 30, 2016 @ 08:05 AM Mary Ann Eckberg Military Life

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What does Memorial Day mean to you?

Recently, I heard about a bunch of hard-core hikers planning to climb North America’s highest peak, Mount McKinley, in Alaska. These adventure enthusiasts are Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, trekking up Denali on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016. Ready for the challenge, the group will proudly carry American flags with handwritten names of fallen servic members.

Reading through the tributes to the fallen on the Mission Memorial website, one line stood out to me. "..brought glory to both God and his country, serving them both with pride and dignity."

For me, those words capture the true meaning of Memorial Day.

It is more than just ads for can’t-miss sales. It's beyond making weekend travel plans. Memorial Day is taking a time out from a busy schedule. Giving a moment to honor and remember. Feeling thankful for the dedication of those who have lived and died in service to this country.

As the warm sunshine of May welcomes the summer season, I am reminded of small ways our family has celebrated Memorial Day over the years. We’ve helped guide a vibrant bunch of children as they placed flags on cherished graves at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. We’ve been inspired by patriotic music with a concert at the Reagan Presidential Library in California. We’ve visited valiant veterans in nursing homes and care facilities. We’ve attended small town memorial services ending with the solemn bugle salute of "Taps."

Every experience has renewed our spirit of hope for peace. Each memory has given us a deep appreciation for the freedom we enjoy.

Residing near the Minuteman Trail in MA, we recently gathered with the crowds to see the springtime reenactments of initial Revolutionary battles. Touched by early words penned by R.W. Emerson, I feel compelled to share "The Shot Heard ‘Round The World":

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,

Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,

Here once the embattled farmers stood

And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;

Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;

And Time the ruined bridge has swept

Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,

We set today a votive stone;

That memory may their deed redeem,

When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare

To die, and leave their children free,

Bid Time and Nature gently spare

The shaft we raise to them and thee.

This tweet by John Cena also fits, "On this Memorial Day, we remember those who fought on the battlefields of Lexington and Concord to the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan. Let us pause in silence for our fallen heroes, as we say Thank You."

Here at MilitaryByOwner, we are ever thankful for the service of the fallen, and keep their families at heart. Whatever Memorial Day may mean to you, wherever you may be, whatever plans you may have, consider the heroes that gave up their lives for the freedom we all treasure.

Thank you for joining us during this Military Appreciation Month to honor all our veterans and their families.  

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