Memorial Day

Memorial Day.  In my youth I remember the weekend leading to Memorial Day being the official kick off of summer.  I don’t know if I was aware of June solstice.  To me, the opening of the community pool, and the smell of hamburgers cooking on charcoal grills was enough to convince me summer had arrived.

It wasn’t until I served in the US Air Force that I understood what Memorial Day really meant.  I’m sure I was told, and I remember my parents flew the flag from the front porch, but the meaning wasn’t very deep.   Until I served, I had never known anyone to be personally affected by the death of a loved one who served our country.  My father and uncles served, and came home.  It wasn’t real to me that a service member might not come home.

It still isn’t real in my life, because those closest to me who served all came home, but it is real to thousands of others.  Family and friends left behind to pick up the pieces, trying to learn to go on, sometimes without closure as to what really happened.  Tears that are never ending fall from the eyes of the survivors, causing them to forever see the world differently.

I wish the last Monday in May could exist for the sole purpose of kicking off summer, but it doesn’t.  I hope we will all take the time at some point on that day to remember those who sacrificed their lives in hopes that we retain our freedoms, and thank them in our hearts.  Countless lives in the minds of each of us, but each one counted to someone.  They all deserve our thanks.

Too Many Goodbyes

His candle flame burned out today

How I wish there was some other way

For him to receive his heavenly wings

Long after he’s done all the things

In life he had hoped to do

As he proudly served among the few

Brave enough to go afar

Now his light is in a star

That shines from heaven to light our way

Oh how I wish he could have stayed

To see the end of agony

For all the world peaceful and free

 

His family’s tears will forever flow

May God comfort them as they go

Through life without seeing his light

His candle burnt out but his star shines bright

As he joins forces with others who earned their wings

The ultimate sacrifice that war brings

 

Please pray for peace across the earth

No warrior needs to prove his worth

No more candle flames lost in the wind

From wars that shouldn’t have to begin

 

A mother now weeps

A father says goodbye

A brother on his knees

A sister sits and cries

 

His candle flame burned out today

There has got to be a better way

Because the number of warrior angels is too high

Too many lives lost

Too many goodbyes

 

©2013 Michaela Hackman

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Countless (Counted) Lives

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