Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Memorial Day

First, let me apologize for missing this day when I was catching up from where I left the blog in April. I was reminded of my neglect when I read the blog of a gentleman I've been keeping up with for several months. Please read:

I know there are many who think that Memorial and church shouldn't be mixed. I am not of that thought. For me and many others, Memorial day is a High Holy Day. It is a day to recognize those who have served and are no longer with us. For me Christianity is about love and sacrifice. For me that is what Memorial day is also recognizing. I'm not trying to put them on equal standing, I just want you to know how important this is for me.

At each church we recognized Memorial Day and the service of are men and women in uniform. At Republican Grove UMC, when the Sunday service was concluded, we went out back to the cemetery. We went to each grave in the cemetery of individuals who served in the military, removed the flag that had been placed there last year, and placed a new flag. We had one flag remaining, Nancy Moste asked if she could place the flag by the bench at the back of the cemetery in remembrance of her father, who had served.
The year old flags that were removed were taken by Betty Jo Dawson to the Army Reserve to be properly disposed. You do not simply throw away an old American flag. There is a specific ceremony that is conducted before the flags are destroyed.

When we had placed the flags on the graves, I was asked to say something to close. I told them of a young Marine and his family I met at Disney World. This young man had done two tours in Iraq. We talked for awhile, when he asked me if I had been in the military. I told him I had been in the Air Force from 1972 to 1980. He reached out his hand to me and shook my hand saying, "Thank you for your service." I can't really remember anyone ever having said it like that to me before. I was so humbled and appreciative I can't explain. So my closing that morning was, "Thank you all for your service".

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