This is Memorial Day, a well-kept green field filled with simple white stones, Name, Rank, Branch of Service, Birth and Death Dates, a small U.S. flag waving in a gentle breeze at each headstone. The men and women lying in the cemeteries will not go shopping today, nor will they go on a picnic or a family outing or a barbecue. Their futures were sacrificed in lands far from home to help guarantee a safe and secure future here at home. There are also many thousands that were lost at sea and they have no headstone only the cold depths of the oceans of the world as a grave, many thousands died on remote islands and were never buried they simply disappeared into the ground, some lie there to this day. The days between the birth and death dates are the memories of family and friends. The date of their death are the memories of friends who survived and they remember the last words said, or they died alone with their last words lost in time, or the end was so violent that there were no last words.
As you go shopping today and if you pass a cemetery with small American flags waving gently in the breeze just say thank you, better yet stop and get out of your car and go visit for minute. Read the name on the headstone, talk to the person, call them by name, ask him or her what she wanted to be, try to imagine how hellish that last day of life on earth was.
If you go to the beach today, stop for a moment look out to sea and give thanks. As you swim in the warm waters you will notice the coolness as you go deeper into the water, imagine how cold it is at the very bottom.
Ask yourself if you have done your very best to keep and care for what those brave men and women who sacrificed their futures and lives gave you, while asking nothing in return.
When judgement day comes, and it surely will, the earth and the seas will give up the dead step aside, let them pass and offer the a salute.