Some say Memorial Day is meant to be more of a remembrance than a celebration. It should be a day of mourning, but I don’t totally agree.
It’s a day for the world to mourn the many people that were willing to put your life in front of their own. Some were drafted and some volunteered. Some had their families support and some did not. Some left behind families of their own and some did not have the time to build their own family. All were missed and still are by the people that loved them.
If you have lost a hero, I am so incredibly sorry and I pray that inside of your grief you are also incredibly proud. I sat at dinner with my son last night and my heart was so full of pride, but I am so grateful that I can be proud and still touch him. I know what brokenness I would feel if I lost him, even as a hero. I will spend time with my dad tomorrow and I can’t help to think about if the minesweeper he drove in the Navy actually hit a mine. I know one thing for sure, I would not be here to write this blog.
So, my first prayer is that you will thank every service person you can all day, but also every day. I pray that you will find relief if you are suffering a loss that this day shines light on. I pray that if you have had the opportunity like I have had, to have your loved ones serve, and come home, that you will honor them today.
My second prayer is that you will do at least one thing amazing today to honor the freedom that you have been given. I may be wrong, but I think each person who died so you can live, would want you to live today and take them with you on your journey. Swim, barbeque, and enjoy the day, just remember today came at a cost.
Lastly, I pray that you will support those that are in the battle right now. The people who have supported our fallen heroes, some of them who have no resources to support themselves and their families. If your heart leads you in this direction here are some options to support organizations that provide services for the families of our fallen heroes. I’m personally choosing to support the Navy Gold Star program to honor my dad.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS): TAPS is a nonprofit organization that offers comprehensive support to military families who have lost a loved one. They provide grief counseling, peer support, casework assistance, and resources for children and teens. https://www.taps.org/
Gold Star Wives of America: This organization is dedicated to providing support, education, and advocacy for the spouses of military personnel who died while serving in the Armed Forces. They offer benefits assistance, financial grants, and a community of fellow Gold Star spouses. https://www.goldstarwives.org/
Army Survivor Outreach Services (SOS): SOS is an Army program that provides dedicated support to surviving family members of fallen soldiers. They offer assistance with benefits and entitlements, support groups, counseling, and access to various resources. https://dcsg9.army.mil/safr/sos/sos.html
Navy Gold Star Program: The Navy Gold Star Program offers a range of services to Navy families who have lost a loved one. They provide support and resources to help with grief, benefits, education, and community connections. https://www.navygoldstar.com/
Air Force Aid Society (AFAS): AFAS is an organization that assists Air Force families, including surviving family members of fallen airmen. They provide emergency financial assistance, educational support, and other programs aimed at enhancing the quality of life for Air Force families. https://afas.org/