Memorial Day

Every year as Memorial Day approaches, I remember my family members who served in the armed forces for our country. To the best of my knowledge, our family all returned home. So many families were not so blessed. We lost too many young lives in times of war and conflict, and these are energies that can never be replaced. They can only be mourned and honored on this day of remembrance that was created to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country.

My father was one of those who made it home from WWII and I know he went through the rest of his life alongside a tiny part of himself feeling guilty for having made it home. I know this, because my father I never saw my father cry until I caught him watching a Memorial Day ceremony one year on the news; I watched him wipe away a single tear. To my knowledge, my father never watched a war movie, and he never spoke about his experience, always changing the subject if it was brought up. Dad was an Army engineer, and I’ll never even know where he was during the war, or what it was that he experienced. Each year I wonder just how many other veterans had/have experiences they relive, and my heart goes out to them as well.

On this day each year, I talk to my father and my uncle like they were still here, hoping they will at least know how much they are missed and how much we appreciate the service and actions they performed for the rest of us. I also take this time to thoroughly clean the picture frames that hold their visual memories, set up a little corner of my house for a candle and some of the favorite photographs, and set place settings and food out for them at supper. Instead of a silent supper, I tell them everything I remember about being with them and how much they are missed. I wonder if there are others out there who have created tiny rituals to remember their family members who were lost in the war years and give thanks that we are all still here to do whatever it is we do to celebrate our freedom on this day meant to honor their memories.

I wish only blessings to all the families who have lost parts of themselves to the war years, and I am sending you all a warm hug from my heart.

s.k. watts

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