An Appreciation for Sacrifices

Hello my friends, I hope your Memorial Day weekend may be a blessed, and filled with gratitude of the many men and women who gave their all for our benefit.

The summer of 2002 was the first time I had the privilege and opportunity to visit Washington DC. How unfortunate that our nation’s capital is more known for the dirtbags in offices making shady deals and building their bank accounts, rather than the graves and memorials to keep the remembrance of many heroes alive.

I was there for nearly a week. Each day was emotionally charged, as I was on the verge of tears nearly constantly. The Vietnam Memorial Wall is much bigger and longer than photographs can capture. I have two uncles who were in the Vietnam War. They never talk about the war, but I’m fortunate that I got to know them. Sadly, I passed by name after names, literally thousands engraved on the Wall, of uncles, dads, brothers, and sons of families who did not get to see them or know them. To see so many names engraved cannot be described. I still remember the older gentleman, whom I saw from a distance later, taking off his hat and bowing his head as he walked beside the Wall. 

I remember the statues of soldiers standing silently, yet crying out to remember the brave ones in the Korean War. And how can I forget the Arlington Cemetery and the somber Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers? Each of these memorials are reminders of persons, both living and dead, who made great sacrifices of which benefit others. 

During this week I realized everything I enjoy came at the sacrifice of others. My salvation came at the Sacrifice of the Savior who loves me so, and the sacrifices of many saints who continued to share and preserve the gospel and Scriptures. My freedom I’ve enjoyed comes at the expense of multitudes who have fought for it for, and before that sacrifices of some who sought a new land for a new beginning. Without any disrespect for the fallen, but only to honor the sacrifices of many. I think of my mom who worked and worried, sacrificing so much to raise me. I did not die for my salvation, or fight for my freedom, or raise myself by my own hard work and know-how. These came by the sacrifices of so many before me.

How shameful that so many in our society lack gratitude, let alone the showing of honor, for the many who made sacrifices for them. I hope you will not be among them. These persons deserving of our honor experienced sleepless nights, fear, nightmares, and pain many of us will never understand.

Rest In Peace, fallen heroes. You are  honored and not forgotten.