I was watching the dedication ceremony of the 911 Memorial in New York City live on television and I couldn’t help but think of our men and women who are still so far away from home; away from their families as our nation stopped for a moment and remembered that fateful event.
It is timely too because the dedication coincided with this year’s Memorial Day and what a day it was. I am sure that for so many of us, we remembered exactly where we were at that particular time. Events like that are etched in our minds forever.
My wife called me from her office and told me to turn on the television. And then I saw the second plane hit the other tower. I stood motionless and asked if it was really happening. But it was CBS News and it was “Live”. Immediately, I just decided to just leave the office and go home thinking of my son who was 3.5 years old at that time and was with the babysitter.
This Memorial Day we honor our veterans: the men and women who are still with us and those that went ahead of us and paid for our freedom with their lives. I thought so deeply that it must have been cold and lonely, lying in a trench bleeding, alone and gasping for the last moment thinking of all the loved ones back home as death slowly claimed its victim’s life.
But amidst this horror of war, our country’s resolve is made stronger because with every obstacle, our country has the courage to stand and rise again. Together we keep moving forward. And we remember. We love and cried. We held hands and hugged one another promising ourselves that we can be better; we can be forgiving and we can recover.
Our lives are forever changed by the events that shook our very foundation. But we remain stronger. We become better because we are Americans and as we relate ourselves with one another we discover that what our critics say about us is actually our strength: we are the world’s most culturally diverse society; with so many voices that shake the august halls of power in Washington and yet after all our differences are vented out and after passionate, arduous and tiresome democratic debates, we promulgate stronger measures that will protect the rights of our citizens, secure our homes so that even when we leave for work, we know that our children who walked to school; or have taken the bus will be home to hug us and shower us with their delightful looks when we all come home at the end of the day.
This is our America and this is us today because of the sacrifices of our veterans. I was teary eyed during a PBS documentary about D-Day on the wet sands and surf of Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. An old woman was interviewed and on that fateful day, she lost her husband and two sons. It must have been too much for her at that time, and as she held in her hands the three flags so neatly folded she kept them dutifully after all those years, she said: “I am always proud of my husband and wished I had more sons to give because they all died for our freedom.”
In every home touched by war, let us keep them in our prayers and always be thankful to them and to God for protecting our country and giving it a stronger for future Americans to enjoy. Have a wonderful Memorial Day!
Nationally syndicated radio host Kidd Kradick laments on his show:
If you are new to America and you go by what you see and hear on TV and radio, you might be convinced that Memorial Day is the one weekend a year to “Enjoy Huge Savings on Electronics and Home Furnishings!”
You almost never hear the words Memorial Day anymore unless they’re followed by the word “Sale”.
Let us celebrate Memorial Day with a far deeper meaning, with a feeling of solemn remembrance of the sacrifices and life spent to allow us to a a strong a d free country for us and our children.