Memorial Day had very little meaning to me growing up. We'd often have a cookout or something, or it was a day off from work. When I was first married, it usually meant a four day weekend with my husband, who worked 14-16 hour days in the army. Beyond that, it was just another day. Memorial Day 2004 was the first time this day meant something to me--something it was supposed to have meant all along. That was the first Memorial Day after my husband was home from war, the first Memorial Day after his unit returned from Iraq, the first memorial Day that I actually spent remembering someone who was lost. Four soldiers from my husband's unit died while they were deployed. One died in the next deployment.
For a year, I went to bed every night wondering if the Chaplain was going to wake me up in the morning--because the Chaplains come with the officers who deliver the bad news. For a year I nearly threw up every time the doorbell rang--sure it was news about my husband not coming home. It was hard, but it made me stronger--and drew my husband and I closer. That "Army Strong" logo also pertains to the families of soldiers!
This Memorial Day, I'm a part of the Homefront Team on Etsy. They are a sweet bunch of strong women, and they keep me involved in the military life, even though we're mostly civilian now. And this past week, they've been busy keeping me in tears--reminding me about Memorial Day and the beauty in remembering. There's a sweet article on the Homefront Team's website, I'd love for you to read: Memorial Day - Meaning from the heart.
This Memorial Day, say a prayer for the families who've lost their loved ones--the wives and children, parents, and siblings. And always say a prayer for our soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen--they need it! So do their families.