I struggled a little with what to post yesterday. Last Memorial Day, I shared the story of my friend, Lex, who was killed in the Marine Barracks’ bombing in Lebanon in 1983. I was heavy of heart thinking of my friend and how he was frozen in time in my mind as that bright, blue-eyed 18 year old, just as he was when I saw him last. My mind couldn’t wrap itself around the fact that it had been 25 years since that sickening time.
However, this year, I felt different. Rather than sadness and regret, the feeling that I can best describe is peacefulness and optimism. Perhaps I’m at a different place in my own life at this time, but I think I truly understand the importance of Memorial Day being a celebration and not a recurring funeral.
You see, Memorial Day honors those who gave their lives to fight for our (and other’s) freedoms so that we can enjoy our lives without intimidation and persecution. Perhaps the highest honor that we can pay these fallen soldiers is to make the most of our lives. Live up to our potential. Be great sons & daughters, parents, friends and people. Making the most of our lives and helping others when we can, in their honor, seems the most fitting homage. Doing what they are not here to do…never forgetting them, but getting on with living life, the way they would if given the chance.
So, this day after Memorial Day, I thank God for my blessings. Family, love, good friends, work I enjoy AND pays the bills, wonderous beauty outside my door and the constant hope in a brighter day.
Because as they all knew, life is beautiful.