Remembering on Memorial Day

A few days ago I received a message from an Army medic.

Angelia.. I tried so hard not to make memorial day a day for Moms to have to remember. I tried really hard to make sure it was a day their sons and daughters came home to see them, not the other way around. I just feel like crap this time of year.

It tore my heart out because I know to him he is seeing Memorial Day as a mark of his failures. I want nothing more than to make him understand that he never failed. He did it all perfectly and yes there were those who died but not because he did not do his job well, perfectly, but because sometimes they were just too broken to fix.

I know he and many others who served are not only remembering our Fallen this weekend but wrestling with their demons and yes even remembering the times of laughter and brotherhood. I hope they will focus on the memories of laughter and make Memorial Day a day more about celebrating those we lost and the lives they lived even as we mourn them. Even in death they are touching lives if we celebrate them and share their stories.

I went to the cemetery today to visit my son and place the proper 6 flags for a Fallen soldier that are placed for Memorial Day. I hate that I know these traditions now but I am also grateful there are such traditions. I know that now that my son is one who is to be remembered on Memorial Day the meaning of the day is more powerful to me than ever before.

Yes there will be BBQs and get togethers. There will be laughter and fun.. there will be celebrations. I only ask that while you enjoy these celebrations think of those who served.. those who wrote a check to this nation payable up to and including their lives. Remember they gave their tomorrows for your today.

Honor and Remember those who have gone before us in protection of all those things we hold dear in this Nation.

If you can save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own, and in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind. ( Via Chris Hill)

fallen remembered

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9 Responses to Remembering on Memorial Day

  1. Dana Dillon May 29, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Nicely done. Thanks for all your effort toward helping soldiers and their families.

  2. Julie Weathers May 29, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    Angelia, you know I have been thinking about you and Michael. I wish there were something I could do to ease the pain, but there isn’t. Just know you are loved for what you do and who you are. Michael is honored and remembered as are they all.

    God bless.

  3. ChrisIsRIGHT May 29, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    You know, our Fallen Heroes are true Heroes in every sense of the word. I, for one, will NOT forget them this weekend, of all times.

    But, there are other heroes. Those who have experienced unbearable and unimaginable heartache through the sacrifices made to this country by their sons and daughters. Those who, despite such pain, still carry on. Not just survive, but thrive. Who support our troops through thoughts, words and deeds.

    Your son is a hero to me, Angelia. But so are you.

  4. Shannah May 30, 2010 at 7:37 am #

    I just discovered your site today and have spent the morning reading through your archives. After reading the one about what life was like after losing Michael and the things people said to you, I felt like I had to write.

    I lost my first child Lindsay at the age of 3 1/2 years old. She was the light of my life and everyone loved her. When she died, it was as if half of our friends just shut the door on our friendship. No calls, no visits–nothing. It made me feel guilty–as if I had done something wrong. I don’t remember much about the week she was in PICU on life support, but I will never forget 2 comments made by “friends” who were there at the time–“It could be worse–I had a friend who lost 3 kids in a fire” and the best of the worst–“You’re lucky– you can have more children.” I was 3 months pregnant with my son Ron at the time but “lucky” was not something I was feeling at all.

    Now Ron is in the Army and will be deploying to Afghanistan in September. He is my best friend and it’s funny because he calls me “momma” 99% of the time and “mother” the other 1%–like Michael did for you. I am so proud of him, I almost can’t hold it all–but so scared and worried at the same time. I will love him and support him–just like you did Michael. Hang on to those memories Mom–I know sometimes they make you cry, but I bet the biggest portion makes you smile. If I was there with you, I’d hug you hard this weekend and I wouldn’t ever say I know how you feel–but my hug would come from knowing how “I” feel.

    Thank you so much for doing this–I don’t think you even realize how much it means to a military mom like me. I’m glad I found your site and I’ll be visiting it often. I hung my first American flag outside on my front porch today–and now it means so much more to me. Thank you Angelia for being my new hero.

  5. Sgt Danger May 30, 2010 at 8:43 am #

    Angelia, thank you for *your* service. God bless you and your boy. -Drew

  6. Kess May 30, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    I grew up in a military family. My father was career Navy. My grandfather, career Air Force. An uncle served during the Vietnam War. Now, my brother is career Army, his son – a Navy Medic. This has always been a day of remembering the friends and loved ones that didn’t come home – and the ones that gave the length of their whole lives to service.

    I thank you, your son, and your family for serving. When they put on the uniform, and we stand behind them, giving them a reason to fight and come home, we serve too. As ChrisIsRight said – you are a hero too, for continuing to support, for continuing to speak out. Thank you.

  7. Tammy Gallant May 30, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    I am in awe of you. Losing a child is hard enough, but using your loss to help others through theirs is truly remarkable. I thank you and your son for your service.

  8. Erin K. May 31, 2010 at 10:36 pm #

    I found your blog through your husband from a post on the FoxAcrossAmerica page. I have extended my gratitude to Steven for his service and for Michael’s, so I am saying Thank You to you as well.

    This posting I hold so close to my heart for the veterans in my family who have gone on to the next life, for the veterans in my family who are still living this one, and now for my husband who is an Army Combat Medic. I haven’t had to face his first deployment yet but I know the day will come, soon from what I hear.

    He sometimes suffers (though he would hastily deny it) from the guilt of not having “done anything yet”. In some ways he’s in a hurry to deploy, so he’s contributing and in others he’s not because obviously his job puts him in harms way. He gets embarrassed when people thank him for his service and mutters “I haven’t done anything”.

    I hope with the reserve and trepidation of a loved one that he gets to do what he needs to do. A huge part of me would love to keep him home, safe. However, a bigger part of me knows the man I married needs to do this for himself, for his country, but in large part for the increasing number of men and women dying in both wars. He is that odd combination of warrior who NEEDS the fight and healer who NEEDS to save. No matter how often I tell him, I don’t think I have the words to adequately convey how PROUD I am of him.

    I am proud that your son, my husband, and many others have not let my generation go to complete waste.

    THANK YOU!

  9. HellcatBetty June 1, 2010 at 2:11 am #

    Beautifully written, Angelia.

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