Memorial Day Weekend: Remembering and Honoring Our Fallen Men and Women

Sheets flow in the wind as caring hands fasten them to clothes lines in the rural south. The cool subtle breeze that flows from warm to cold and a bit colder at night is just enough to shift the way things had been done over the past months. Kids are starting to appear in places other than next to an electronic device even if it’s walking malls or hanging out at the closest fast-food joint. Either way, there is movement signaling a transition in seasons and a stalwart marker with deep meaning and a history that is as aged as the country itself, we bow our hearts and our heads in remembrance of Memorial Day.

While some think of Memorial Day weekend as a time to dust off last year’s lawn gear, cleaning grills and prepping for a barbecue, there are countless Americans being reminded of the true cost of freedom. They look backwards at photo albums, newspaper clippings and memories – fond memories and those that ripped at their heart- informed them that a fight for country and honor had their loved one pay the ultimate price, and that price was with their lives.

How then do we say thank you to the brave men and women who gave their lives, so we can enjoy living free from the terrible nature of war on our shores. In our individual communities, there are families of the slain. Resolutions, proclamations and acknowledgements by all sectors of community are befitting for the families. While we eat and drink and make times of merriment, they cannot help but be reminded of their loss. We too, should be reminded of their lost and out loud and in silence, pay tribute. Purposeful attention given them with heartfelt appreciation for what their loved one sacrificed and being sensitive to their lost goes a long way.

So, as we celebrate a weekend full of food, fun and fellowship, take a moment to remember there are families struggling through the anguish of memories of fallen loved ones. To them, Memorial Day weekend is not a time for food, and folly, but a time of painful recollections. But, you can be the one to make a world of a difference. For every cookout, you host or attend, make this Memorial Day personal. Seek out a military family. Invite them over for a burger or two and more than anything else, with heartfelt appreciation, express your gratitude for their loved one and reassure them, they have not been forgotten.  

Be reminded, prayer is still relevant. It can go anywhere at any time and bring great peace to those who still grieve. Here’s an occasion, when your prayers are needed more than ever. It is a time to be God’s hands extended to families who after your concern for them is expressed, welcomes all the fanfare of the holiday to include a burger grilled to perfection in the presence of caring friends sharing their loss.

President Barack Obama’s Presidential Proclamation Prayer and Peace Memorial Day 2013: