The observance of this day, on the last Monday in May, is an annual remembrance of those who have died (men & women in the U.S. Military) during their service to the United States of America.
I have no authority to broaden this definition, but I’m going to do it anyway and I hope you stick with me until the end of this post.
I know many people, some very well, while some are acquaintances, who have served the U.S.A. although they never wore/wear a military uniform. However, I believe each of them deserves to be decorated.
For instance, what about the electric utility lineman who died when a tree struck him while he was providing a service to a community? The soul of his widow died and she mourns every single day. Both deserve to be decorated.
What about the college educator who died in a car accident at the hands of a winter snowstorm? Did she not serve her country and shape the minds of young people? What about the man she left behind who mourns every single day? Both deserve to be decorated.
What about an Army veteran, who died after a 6-month-long battle with cancer? What about her parents, brother and sister, husband, and daughters who mourn every single day? All deserve to be decorated.
What about the shell-of-a-human veteran who has come back from a war-torn foreign land who has suffered for months, years, and decades with PTSD? What about the the family members who don’t know how to help? They deserve to be decorated.
What about the civilian families left behind by suicide, drug overdoses, murder, weather disasters, and just plain freak accidents? What about the families as they watch dementia, Alzheimer’s, ALS, MS, diabetes, kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes painfully take the lives of their loved ones. All deserve to be decorated.
Are you still with me? Don’t we all mourn the loss of someone else? Don’t we all mourn the lives we used to lead before things went sour?
My point is not to diminish the sacrifices of the military soldiers and sailors who provided us with the freedom and extreme privileges we have. Rather, I want to elevate the awareness of their struggles and battles by remembering and decorating those they may have left behind.
I also want to emphasize that each one of us fights a battle and serves our country, whether it is for a family member, friend, coworker, stranger, or community. We soldier on despite seemingly insurmountable odds.
I want to encourage you to keep fighting, keep your hope alive, keep trying a different approach to overcome your personal enemy. Take the front line with courage and fortitude!
Perhaps, the “old you” needs to die in order for the “new you” to rise triumphantly from the endless battles of war.
I see you. I recognize you. I memorialize you. I decorate you. Not just on the last Monday in May, but every day.
So, I thank all the military members who have died and their survivors. I thank the non-military servants to our communities who have left this physical earth and their survivors.
Every single day!
You deserve to be decorated.
Please, go with a peace of mind and appreciation in your heart for the life you now have and the better life you can create for yourself and others.
Be Kind. Be Thankful. Be Significant.