Memorial Day is a day to honor those who died while serving our country.
Memorial Day is filled with many red, white and blue decorations. It feels very patriotic and it seems like the perfect day to thank veterans for their service, but that isn’t what Memorial Day is about. There is a completely different holiday to celebrate Veterans in November.
When I think of honor I think of all those men and women who gave their life while serving their country. Some people have lost their lives in war, others in training missions, and others in experiments gone wrong. But all gave their lives for their country.
Why Memorial Day Changed for Me
One of my friends was a fighter pilot and his plane went down in January of 2013. When I first heard about the accident I was certain they would find him. He was an amazing outdoors-man and he had so much to live for. I was worried, but certain they would find them. They had to, it was not possible for him to be gone. Have you ever really thought about how dangerous being a fighter pilot is? It seems like a glorious career and you might even think it is not a dangerous one. You might not have ever thought about the risk they take for each training mission.
Maybe you are like me and always thought to worry about the military members overseas on the ground and not in the air. And definitely not thinking about those at home. Not realizing how quickly they could be lost as well. Things I did know, the awe and wonder of the fact he was a fighter pilot. I thought it was amazing that they were so lucky to be stationed in Italy. And then one day everything changed.
A Pilot Lost at Sea
A few things caused the tragic event to take place…bad weather, his seat not being correctly place and there were other various factors that caused his plane to go down into the Adriatic Sea. And his life ended. Suddenly, everything changed. He was gone and days later when they found his body they confirmed that unfortunate truth. He was gone.
His wife was nine months pregnant when the accident took place. She went from planning for childbirth to planning a memorial service. All with the potential to go into labor at any moment. It seemed like everything was going well for their family. But in an instant everything went wrong and now his daughter is growing up without a father. The sacrifice he gave still ripples in the people who were closest to him. His wife, brother, mother and others who miss him. Even people who did not know him while he was alive are affected by his story and the legacy he left behind.
Don’t forget those hurting
On Memorial Day, there are so many people across the nation still hurting from the loss of someone close to them. Let us remember the sacrifice they made and honor them, even if for just a moment.