Every year when the end of the school year rolls around, you start seeing all sorts of references to Memorial Day. Lots of flags going up, sales, and barbecues galore – people look at it as the official kick-off of summer.
Have a cook out. Spend time with friends and family. Go camping or fishing or simply enjoy the warm weather any way you choose. But please don’t wish me a “Happy Memorial Day.” I certainly won’t wish you one.
Memorial Day is the day we stop to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. From the Revolutionary War to the current conflicts that our nation faces. It is those who have gave their lives that we honor today. Friends whose funerals we attended much too soon. Funerals that ended by the playing of Taps.
People like Captain Kimberly Hampton.
Kimberly was a precious person with a kind heart and a contagious smile. She was the first person our unit lost, and the first female pilot ever to be shot down in U.S. history.
People like Sergeant First Class Langmack.
Steve was the kind of guy who would jump out of his vehicle to help someone in a car accident without any hesitation. Or come on over to drive your husband’s truck when you have to move with three small children and your husband is deployed to Iraq.
Or people like Christ Stout whose singing would give you goose bumps and get the whole church on its feet. (Seen in the center here.)
Today is for them and for the countless others who have given their lives for our nation. Gave their lives for us.
It’s not a happy day. It is somber, poignant, meaningful and for some – very hard.
Take a moment to remember them today.