Pause and Reflect
This weekend, as you drive past the thousands of political signs littering our beautiful state heading to the beach or your local grocery store, keep in mind those who have died for our country to give you the freedom to party with family and barbecue with your neighbors.
We take the weekend off… to remember and celebrate sacrifice.
Few of us can really imaging the courage it takes to intentionally put one's self in harm's way. Perhaps we would be willing to risk life and limb for a parent or a child, but few among us can even imagine dying for a cause. I will grant that most of our fallen military men and women did not do so by intentional singular acts of heroism, but none-the-less they died for freedom and are heroes, of equal rank, in my book.
Over the past week or so, the news has been filled with the disgraceful way the Veterans Administration has mishandled their responsibility. Stories of waiting lists, whistle-blowers and veterans needing care are on every news station. The President of the United States and his Secretary of Veterans Affairs should be hanging their heads in shame rather than engaging in political spin.
Service to our country is not a partisan issue. Good men and women of every political party put on the same uniform and serve their – and our – country. It is sickening to know our Department of Veteran Affairs is in such a sorry state of heightened politics and bureaucracy that it cannot fulfill the promise we made to our veterans. It is sad that some have even lost their lives waiting in line for Uncle Sam!
I have attended a small rural church just outside of Hampstead since my birth. One of the prettiest, yet most moving, sites is the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. The local VFW places flags on the graves of the veterans in our cemetery. It is a beautiful remembrance to see the small flags fluttering on a sunny morning contrasted against the new mowed grass.
This weekend take a little time to drive by or even stop at a local cemetery. You will be surprised that local VFW Posts work very hard to keep those who served and sacrificed properly honored. Those little flags not only mark very special graves – but serve to remind all of us that every city, every community and even every little brick church shares in remembering those who have served their country with symbols of freedom.
Have a great weekend.