Do you remember the feeling you had on that special 4th of July parade? Do you remember the silent respect given as the color guard marched by? How many hands placed over hearts did you count? Do you remember the lump in your throat when you joined them to place your hand over your heart?
I have never seen so many flags. Flags on window mounts, flags as magnets, flags on signs, flags on makeshift poles mounted in truck beds, flags stuck into the grass, flags as pins on shirts, flags on hats, flags in the hands of children.
Do you remember the troops, all dressed in their new sand-colored fatigues? Do you remember the sound of their boots upon the pavement? Do you remember the clapping of the crowd, and the cheers, and the shaky salutes from the old legionnaires as the young soldiers passed by?
I realize that this day, Memorial Day, has become a day to remember all of our loved ones who have passed on. We remember them for their love, for what they taught us, the ways that they touched our hearts, and the empty space that they left when we lost them. Let us remember and honor them today.
But much like the 4th of July, this day is also a day that I think about those who have protected our freedoms.
I will be forever grateful for their service and sacrifice.
If you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to put out your flag!