Monday, May 25, 2009
IN MEMORIUM ... rest in peace...
Today is Memorial Day.
In my youth, it used to mean the beginning of summer. It was a day off from work or school. It was the day the pool opened. It was an extra day where I could do nothing but enjoy having a day to do nothing.
But that all changed three months ago when someone close to me died in Afghanistan. (Three months ago?? it seems like yesterday...) He had his whole life in front of him, and at 24, was way too young to die. This year, Memorial Day means something more that it ever could- it touched me and my life personally. When the ONLY person you know fighting overseas is killed, it really hits you hard. You hear stories of families and friends of the brave men and women who gave their lives in foreign and distant wars- but it is just that---- foreign and distant. It doesn't affect you. But until it really does affect you, you can't possibly appreciate or understand the holiday.
Yesterday, on my way to church, there was a memorial to all Americans who fell in battle in during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. As yesterday was exactly three months since Dan had died, it hurt so much to see the memorial. Along a busy road next to the cemetery, the Veterans for Peace placed a grave marker for each American who gave their life, and a state flag on the marker for each Wisconsin soldier. Needless to say I was a mess at mass and I was compelled to get out and take a few photos of the very moving site.
Today I went to a Memorial Day ceremony honoring all the war dead, especially those who died in the past year. How do you keep a dry eye when someone special and close to you was being honored?
I don't know how you are supposed to get over something like this. People say you never really do. But how do you cope? How do you get on with your life? I guess all you can do is to remember that person and never let their memory die. Every day I think about Dan, and every day is a struggle.
I ask you to please say a prayer for Dan, his family, and me- and please say a prayer for all those who have given their life for us. Even if you don't believe in the war, believe in those who are fighting for you.