Saturday, May 23, 2009

MEMORIAL DAY. Don't let it fade.

Memorial Day is Monday.

We must not forget or allow these memories to fade.

The impact of our military's sacrifice is witnessed in every community and every neighborhood. The number of Blue Stars in windows is displayed with pride and the hope of prayers by all who see them. The number of Gold Stars holds us accountable to never forget their sacrifice and pray for the ones left behind. We must not allow our pride or their memories to fade.

As this weekend unfolds a number of veterans were honored at Southeastern High School as motorcycle riders rode through Ohio on their way to taking part in Rolling Thunder. It was an appropriate place for them to stop. You see, two of Southeastern's best have given their lives in this current war, Master Sgt Clemmons and Lance Cpl Reed. These riders will stop at the Viet Nam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. We must not allow these to fade.

This weekend some communities will hold parades in honor of our military, Chillicothe will do the same. Some organizations will place flags and markers on the graves of our veterans buried in our cemetaries. A few dignitaries will make speeches about war, sacrifice and freedom's cost. While I write this note I have immediate neighbors who have served in Korea, Viet Nam and Iraq. Our conversations are not of old men talking about war but of Soldiers and Airmen who share a common bond and purpose, and our exchange is one of honored trust. For millions of us this weekend isn't about distant historic facts of another time as we sleep with them every night. The scenes of war will not leave our sleep and the faces of those who never age do not leave our memories. It may seem odd to those who don't understand that military bond of brothers and sisters but we don't want these memories to fade.

My own son is serving in Iraq with the Ohio Army National Guard. I have been to his base when I served in Iraq. In my mind's eye I can see the details of where he is serving. I know the heat, the dust storms, the chowhall where he eats, where he sleeps, the location of the PX, the air field...these nudge me from my slumber to vivid memories. And as one who has been in war I pray for his safety and those with him. I cannot, I dare not allow these to fade.

Memorial Day isn't just about some long ago war of fading memories of another time. This is the day we take to purposefully remember those who have fought our wars. We must remember those who have given their youth, risked their health and those who have given their lives for us to enjoy the American way of life. We must not allow these to fade.

So many have given that we could enjoy the possibilities that so often we take for granted.

I invite you to "CATCH THE VISION OF POSSIBILITIES" and remember the price to be able to do so.

When you see someone in the American Armed Forces, personally thank them. When you see a Veteran, personally thank them. When you see a Veteran's grave, thank them and pray for their family.

God Bless America!
H. R. Grimm

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