Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A day to remember.

There has been so much I have wanted to write about lately but I feel the universe, or perhaps just my children, are conspiring against it.  But I do want to force myself to stop a moment in the midst of our hectic days and share this post with you.

Yesterday was Memorial Day.  This weekend usually means the start of summer - backyard barbecues, camping trips, sunny pool or beach days - and the summer season is a wonderful thing to celebrate with family and friends. But in the fervor to crack open a beer, light up the grill, and make a red, white, and blue Pinterest cake, sometimes we may lose sight of what Memorial Day truly commemorates.  It is a day to remember those who died in service to our country.  It is sometimes confused with Veterans Day, which commemorates all those who have served, but the day is set aside to honor those brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.  And honor them we should.

Before I became a military wife, the truth is, the day did not have much personal meaning for me.  Growing up, war was something in the history books, and felt very far away.  But then September 11th occurred.  And then we were a country at war.  And yet still, it was something that didn't bump into my world too often or too forcefully.  

But now, after being on the other side - no longer living in the quiet comfort of my civilian world - the day is filled with more emotion than I think I can handle at times.  When you see your husband's unit deploy to war and not all of them make it back, the meaning of so many things once taken for granted become amplified. The American flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, a bugle call, the boom of gunfire.  These things stir my heart now in a way that could not have existed before. I stepped over a threshold where every day country, honor, duty and sacrifice all have new and very real meaning.  

There is a running group we have become affilited with that is committed to honoring those men and women who have fallen and their families. Wear Blue: run to remember (http://www.wearblueruntoremember.org) began at JBLM (Joint Base Lewis-mcChord) in our old town of Dupont, WA.  I would see blue clad runners around town on Saturday mornings and see the chalk messages written into the pavement urging runners to keep going and urging us all to remember the fallen.  
The group has grown and spread across the world now and we are proud to have been a part of the first meet-up here at Fort Leavenworth. Before each run names of those who have died in service are called out, a moment of silence observed and prayer said.  

The route we take goes past the cemetery on post and reminds us.  It reminds us of those that have been lost.  It reminds us of the families that were left behind. It reminds us of all the men and women still deployed, still in harm's way.  It reminds us that every day we have with our servicemember should not be taken for granted. 
It was special, inspirational, humbling and emotional to run with this group on Memorial Day and to be a part of an even larger community running for the organization all over the world.  We pledged the miles we ran in rememberance.  The goal of Wear Blue was to have 6,803 runners pledging their miles for the 6,803 casualties since the war on terror began.
The goal was surpassed.  And for me a new Memorial Day tradition was born - wearing blue and running in rememberance to honor these heroes. 

No comments:

Post a Comment