The sense of loss many of us feel this Memorial Day has little to do with military service, and much to do with the present post-Covid situation we are currently mired in. Locally we have been fortunate compared to other parts of the world where the novel coronavirus has struck hard. Still, it’s not easy to set aside the news of the day to consider our fallen soldiers of days gone by and the men and women who currently dedicate their lives to protecting our freedoms.
Add to this the fact: Many of us are honored to have military veterans in our families we can thank for their service, but, as the number of people who serve in the military became fewer over recent decades, more and more Americans find they have no direct connection to military service, either from themselves or from their loved ones.
This makes us no less grateful for their service, but it perhaps makes us a little less aware of their sacrifice. Now more than ever, it’s a good thing we set aside a day to reflect and remember that each uniformed soldier who died in service to their country was a person who grew up going to school in a school like ours. They had dreams and disappointments just like us, and hoped to live a long and prosperous life, God willing, like anyone else.
Their mothers and fathers, husbands or wives, children and grandparents relied on them for so much, but had to let them go in so many ways so they could pursue their destinies.
Perhaps limiting the way we can spend this weekend of reflection will help. When mass gatherings are not possible, and travel to vacation destinations is impeded by shut-downs, warnings and advisories, shouldn’t it be easier then to focus on the reason why many of us have Monday off?
So this weekend, in the midst of whatever you find yourself doing, raise a flag for the veterans. Thank one in person and say a prayer of thanks for the fallen. Their service to the country we hold dear has made it possible once more for us to go about our day in whatever way we wish.