After a 12 hour shift at work yesterday, I finally got home just before 11:00 a.m. And then I hunkered down, in my man-cave, and went to WORK! It was Memorial Day, and I wanted to do all I could do to honor our troops, both the living and the fallen, the vets and active duty. I had remembered the words I had read early Monday morning that said, "Don't just celebrate. Commemorate." Those words rang in my head all day like the ringing of the Liberty Bell. The Fox & Friends weekend crew calls it an "ear-worm" that you just can't get out of your head for a day or more.
So, I put off my "celebration" for awhile while I worked on my "commemoration" for our troops. I wrote on twitter (and helped to start the new tag, #MemorialMonday), put up a couple of youtube videos, and well, I multitask very well. It was truly a day well spent. And I really believe that if they were still around, guys like Benjamin Franklin and George Washington would have been patting me on the back, and maybe even have had a hug or two.
And finally, I was able to take some time off. I prepared a music mix CD featuring 4TROOPS, along with some patriotic music I had acquired just after 9/11. I did that quickly, so I didn't know quite how it was going to sound. Well, I grilled some chicken last night while listening to the CD... I ended up listening to the 80 minute CD TWICE while doing my cooking. And I didn't even burn the food! (In fact, it was delicious, to die for as they say.)
"To die for food" is one thing.... To die for FREEDOM is something else! There are so many that have done that, and that was what yesterday was about. And I want to tell you, that the living active duty service members and the vets also should be honored on Memorial Day, because they are also those that are or were WILLING to die in the fight for Freedom if that was what it took.
In those 160 minutes of listening to that awesome CD (twice), I had a lot of time to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made both to create this great country and then to keep it together. And yes, I had tears rolling down my face. When I was in the USAF, it was peacetime... although the Iranians had taken Americans hostage, and a bunch of guys from Hurlburt Field died in the attempt to rescue the hostages... Some of the Army Rangers that didn't come back were my neighbors. Eglin AFB, where I was stationed, went on high alert. President Jimmy Carter's peace agenda was plummeting into the abyss of failed plans. That was a time when I wasn't sure what I would be asked to do, but I was ready and willing.
For a brief few moments, way too brief, I finally forgot about all the troubles facing our great country and this world, and I did something I had not done often enough recently. I prayed. I thanked God for all He has given us. I thanked Him for all those that have been in our lives - all too briefly - that made the ultimate sacrifice at some point. And I said, "Thank you Lord for using me in whatever way you need to help spread the Word." And that is what I believe I am doing.
I had my best Memorial Day celebration ever through commemoration of those that have fought to gain and keep our freedom. Thank you, Lord, for waking me up! With that being said, let me now give you a video that I came across this morning, featuring 4TROOPS singing, "For Freedom":
Can I hear a big HooooRAH for that one? You betcha! And now, for another very touching video that I found in a tweet this morning:
Oh, you say you want to see the videos I put on youtube yesterday? Sure, we can do that!
May 31, 2010 - 10 in 10: Veterans FOR FREEDOM!
May 31, 2010 - Freedom: This is what it's all about! Honor our vets today!
Videos provided by TheREALjohnny2k
Do those videos help to explain what I was saying above? But don't just wait for Memorial Day 2011. Honor the troops, both living and not, EVERY day in any way you can.