Sunday , June 10, 2018 - 12:00 AM
For many of our Utah families the holiday weekend started on Thursday or Friday, when the graves were decorated, including for us, a son and nephew who served but came home.
TCM had a steady stream of war stories – stories of bravery and sacrifice at home as well as abroad. These lasted almost a week. The traveling Vietnam Wall was on display at Larkin Mortuary for the entire week end. People came to view, remember and some to locate a name.
Sunday, some of us sang songs and heard special words for the occasion while attending the church of our choice.
The Memorial Day Concert in Washington, D.C. was repeated several times over two days. The dead were honored but there were stories told of those who served and came home; their bravery and loyalty. They were in attendance and were recognized. All military who have served or are now serving were then recognized as their service song was played.
And then there was Monday, THE DAY. Could it be a BBQ day with family and friends??? Of course, even with some who served and came home. Would those who paid the ultimate price be disappointed that a BBQ was held or would they say, “that's what I died for, our freedom and our way of life.”
For me, to see the cemeteries covered with flowers and flags reminds me that they are not forgotten. Not only those who died and those who served but also the many sweethearts, wives, children, parents, brothers and sisters who “kept the home fires burning”.
Were those who died the only casualties of war? No, for there are those who, for rest of their lives, suffer that loss and association. Having lost two sons I know of the sadness and loneliness. Many of us, Utahans are family oriented and when one dies, whether in battle or not they are missed and we remember them. The flowers show that we believe that they are yet alive, just not here with us.
I love the saying: “If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a service man or women.” I do this whenever I see 'a him' or 'a her' in a store, restaurant, wherever, Who knows when or if they will be called upon to give their lives, but for now thank them for their service.
Please don't “cringe” when you see something new in Utah, but try to see the 'big picture'. You may have misjudged many of us if you thought we had a BBQ on Monday and never honored nor remembered the military – past and present. We did, we do and we always will.
They were not only “a friend”, “a buddy” or a “comrade in arms” but a member of a family and often a community.
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