Memorial Day – A kickoff to summer, school is out (for some), pools are opening, a lake weekend, a beach weekend, vacation….many look forward to this weekend for so many fun, relaxing reasons. I myself am one that loves summer and has always thought of Memorial Day as the beginning of warm weather, sprinklers, and cook outs. Every Memorial Day, I would say a quick “Thank You” to those that gave their life, but then go about my fun filled weekend.
Embarrassingly, it was just last year when there was a specific moment that stung me. I say “stung” because it felt just like that…a sting, a jab, a blow to the stomach. I was upset with myself for only recognizing the holiday on the surface. We live on a base in a military neighborhood and I distinctly remember the moment when Memorial Day took on a much deeper meaning for myself. Last year on Memorial Day, our street was getting together for a pot luck where we all eat, hang out, and let the kids wear themselves out before bedtime. I was with my husband and a couple of our friends. We were gathered in a small circle casually talking and one of our friends said he wanted to take a moment and thank some soldiers that gave their life in war. We then went around the small circle of about five or six of us and spoke names. That’s when it hit me. That’s why we are here. Because soldiers- moms, dads, uncles, aunts, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, etc. gave their LIFE for me. Soldiers that left with a job and did not return. These soldiers that spoke each name trained with these fallen heroes, laughed with them, shared stories with them, confided in each other, had memories with them and they are gone. Gone but not forgotten.
Some of these soldiers who died were children whose parents outlived them. Some left spouses and children who were counting down the days for them to return, and there wasn’t a return. Some may have had a pregnant wife and never got to meet their child. Some were aunts and uncles who’s nieces and nephews adored them. The scenarios are endless and I give you these scenarios because it is real. These soldiers were real, their lives were real, and they died for us. They gave the ultimate sacrifice. They are fallen heroes. Gone but not forgotten.
I was given a soldier’s name randomly that was killed in action at the Army Ten Miler to run in honor of and I will always speak his name in remembrance. If you don’t know a soldier personally that was killed in war, I encourage you to maybe look one up and read about that soldier. Then just whisper a thank you and state their name. Let’s remember the fallen heroes. Gone but not forgotten.
Today, please remember…
1LT Chris Goeke & SFC Ricardo Young
Thank you for reading “A Darling Detour!” Hope your Memorial Day is filled with wonderful memories! I encourage you to not just recognize Memorial Day on the surface and take time to remember those that gave their lives.