Monday, May 26, 2008

Does Memorial Day Matter?

I am not trying to protect anybodies non-profit status today. My discomfort with discussing war and peace lies in the politics of it all. For the record, I consider myself Republican. I am bothered that the term Republican is more ambiguous than ever. Nevertheless, I will vote for John McCain in November, bottom line. End of discussion for me.

Iraq, yes or no? Afghanistan, yes or no? I am just not expert on those issues. Obviously, few are. If I go into a rant, I am going to trivialize something, someone, somewhere.

Almost a year ago I witnessed my first ever, graduation from Basic Training, in San Antonio, Texas, Lackland AFB. Airman David Mikusek, my son-in-law, joined the Air Force reserves. I was moved and to some level changed forever.

Our sons and daughters, our dads and husbands, our wives, brothers, and sisters essentially stuck out their chests and said, if need to I will die for our country. I will die for a just war, I will die for an unjust war. I will die for a Republican war, a Democratic war. I will die for a Baptist war, a Catholic war, or an atheist war. I will die for a stupid war or a necessary war. Their families (including me) made the same commitment with them, celebrated, hugged, cried, and took pictures.

I will never protest or analyze something that costs real people and their families the ultimate price. Everything is a big, overused word. When a person serves our country and loses years, arms, legs, mental capacity, and life, any acknowledgment trivializes to some degree. Thank yous, flags, bumper stickers, and special holidays seem silly at times.

Memorial Day does not matter if it is a free day off or a moment of silence to take off my hat and cover my heart. Thank you must be year around to all who have paid, are paying, and will pay for democracy. I am not sure what that looks like. I know my son-in-law David, is not a political issue, he is a person. His son Owen and his wife Krista are not either.

What does 'thank you' look like? Think about that with me today. Talk about it with your children and families. Pray and be grateful.

Thank you to all of those who gave and who are willing to give it all for people like me. People you will never know. People, that, if you knew us, you may not even like. You are heroes.

4 comments:

Quinn Hooks said...

Well said, Dino. May we not forget.

Mike said...

great post Dino, makes me stop and think about Memorial Day not just for a day but for a lifetime.dputr

Dino said...

Thanks Mike and Quinn. My own blog caused more thinking, talking, and praying in my home on Memorial Day.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dino,
just read your comments about Memorial Day. Very moving and emotional for me. My dad was a career Air Force guy and did several tours in Vietnam - it hits me more with every passing year just how much of a sacrifice our military families make especially in war time.
Wayne Shepard