Monday, May 30, 2016

What Memorial Day Means to Me

Even though we know that Memorial Day was originally created to help us remember the sacrifices of brave heroes who fought for our freedoms, it has become an event built around a 3-day holiday that kicks off the summer season. Today, millions of people will head outdoors to dust off their patio furniture, fire up the barbecue and welcome the sun-filled, fun-filled days of summer.

My family was no different. We cherished this 3-day weekend when we'd gather together with friends and family, either for a family reunion or a well-planned camping trip. Such sweet memories!

But, over the years, I've come to realize the real meaning of Memorial Day. Oh, yes, there's a wonderful connection between good food and friends that nurtures our relationships with each other. But, Memorial Day is REMEMBERING our veterans and missing the ones who are gone, and it's "remembering" our loved ones who laid the foundations for our lives, prayed for us, for our families, our country AND for our armed forces.

This is a special day to give thanks and show appreciation for the people who have woven themselves into our lives. I give thanks for the sacrifices my grandparents and my parents made for me, especially for my Mama who left me her strong faith and joy of life. Today, I continue her mission. And, thanks to my precious husband who seemed to have left this earth way too soon, but left behind a most grateful wife that is a strong overcomer and resilient woman of faith, because of his example. I am so grateful.

And, above all.....to focus with heartfelt gratitude.....
** To all the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard, and Coast Guard servicemen and women. You are selflessly giving and devoted, and your sacrifices do not go unnoticed. You are so deeply appreciated.

** To the families of our military members, know you have our sincerest thanks. You are generous and brave behind the scenes, and your sacrifices do not go unnoticed.

** And to those families of the fallen, may you feel the all-encompassing arms of Jesus around you on this Memorial Day and always. May you rest in the heart of God, a heart that knows the ache of loss Himself. He longs to comfort you and love you.

With tender hearts we lift you all up today, and we say "Thank you for everything, including this 3-day holiday where we are free to sing: "I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free, and I won't forget the men (and women) who died, who gave that right to me!"