A Time to Remember

It’s personal for me.

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It’s Memorial Day and a time to remember those who have sacrificed and those who died for us.

On this day each year, I always think of the uncle I never knew that died in WWII.  We actually know much about him, but I will always be sad that I never knew my father’s handsome little brother who endured such great hardship and suffering in war.  My father never talked too much about him because I think it was just too painful to do so.  But, he made sure we knew about him and how he died.

Perhaps that is the reason I’ve always taken Memorial Day to heart.  It’s personal.  Because it is personal for me, I appreciate how it is personal and painful for many, many other family members and dear friends today, too.

Today, we remember and mourn together for our loved ones gone much too soon, and we also show our appreciation as we are moved to do so, including taking time to be with family.  These days, that is certainly something to celebrate, and I think many loved ones gone before us are smiling when we gather.

Today, I hope you will remember those gone and celebrate those present.  We are truly blessed indeed.  May we never take that blessing for granted.

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Thank You So Much, Veterans!

American Flag Veterans

I want to thank our veterans and all active duty people for your service today!  I am also remembering my own family members who served today, including my father, my brother and several uncles, including one uncle that did not come home from WWII after being held as a prisoner where he ultimately died.  Most of us cannot begin to fathom what they endured and continue to endure every day.

Today is always such a humbling day for me when I think about the many sacrifices made by those that serve and their families.  I pray that we all increasingly value their contribution for the important role they continue to play to our nation every single day.  Although many of us only say this once a year, in reality, you are in our minds and hearts and prayers all the time.

Video Tribute by Erik Wahl at Vimeo

Operation Heal Our Patriots
Samaritan’s Purse

God bless you one and all – with much love and a humble heart today.

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Thank You, Veterans!

American Flag Veterans

Today, I am grateful for every single person that has fought for the freedom I enjoy today, including my own father, my brother and two uncles, one that did not come home from WWII.  My relatives are all gone now, including my dear brother who died a few years ago, and I miss them all terribly.

I am also grateful for all the service dogs that have served, and still serve, alongside our military personnel.  Not only do these dogs help our soldiers do their jobs, the dogs also provide wonderful companionship to them while they are away from home.

Lastly, I am grateful to those who help to care for our veterans that have various needs when they return home.  “If we send ’em, we should mend ’em.”  Wounded Warrior Project is a good one, but I know there are many more, too.

From the bottom of my sincere heart today, I thank every single one of you. ❤

D
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Never Forget

Never Forget 2009

Never Forget 2009

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.”

— Rudy Guiliani quotes Laurence Binyon (English Poet)
in a NYC ceremony honoring the victims of 9/11

Every year since 9/11/2001, our community has sponsored a large flag display on the grounds of a local elementary school.   Each year, I go with my camera in hand, and it never fails to touch me in a deep way.  I took the photos above last year, and they are still some of my favorites with the sun shining through the flag.  It symbolizes “hope” to me, and hope is something I desperately needed in the fall of 2001.

9/11 touches me deeply, not just because of what happened on that fateful day in our nation, but what was happening to me and my family at that same time.  It was as if bad news was just piling on and would not quit.  Fear almost completely overtook me, and I could not see a way out.  It was, without a doubt, the hardest time I have endured in my lifetime, but it was also a huge life lesson for me in my walk with God.  Our lives changed during that time.  It was a very hard autumn season, though, and one I will never, ever forget.  The words of John 16:33 gave me so much comfort and reassurance during that time, too.

God bless the families and friends of those that perished on this fateful day in 2001.  You are in my thoughts and prayers today, as always on this day of remembrance.  As bad as our issues were at that time, I did not lose a loved one.  My heart truly goes out to you all.

As odd as it may sound, I think this commercial by Budweiser a few years ago kind of hits the nail on the head as far as my feelings about this day.  It was a commercial that was done solely to pay tribute to the 9/11 victims and their families.  No words… just the utmost respect… I cannot watch it without getting teary even still.


Update, September 14:  This is an incredible story that just came out, and I wanted to share it here, too.

Never forget.

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