Can Memorial Day also be current active duty day?

Often times in the mornings as I’m reading email and catching up on blogs, an idea for a post swims in my head and I find that I start contemplating before I’m even ready to write a post. This morning I read a few posts about Memorial Day and thought about writing something, but didn’t really know what. I don’t come from a military family. Military deaths are not something that has touched my family. Obviously, I’m incredibly grateful to those who have died defending my freedom and my country.

I stood up to refill my coffee, Jayden was on the floor chewing his bone when suddenly the rumble of a jet came up out of no where. I stopped and turned towards my window as though to “watch” the jet fly by, Jayden quit chewing, and we were silent as the jet made it’s hasty fly by. After it was gone, I slowly turned back towards my kitchen, wondering if it was a Memorial Day fly over, but deciding probably not because it was just one. I live near an air base, so it’s not uncommon to hear jets, and I love the sound.

But there’s always that intrusive thought, was that a friendly jet?

I’ve never known the fear my parents did. Never had the bomb drills in school. But ever since 9/11 I always get that little voice of fear when I hear a jet now. And that’s sad.

But I know I have active duty members out there, protecting me. So the jet flying by prompted the question. Memorial Day is all about remembering those who have fallen for our freedom. It’s a solemn day, for sure. Then we have Veteran’s Day, to honor our veterans.

So where does that put the active duty members? Is today also a celebration of those currently serving our country? Those who are alive and well?

If not, then I’m making it so on my blog.

I love everything about the military. I was fascinated when I watched their formations, their salutes, their ritual. The respect they show everyone, not just their higher ups.

I had the privilege of working on the air force base for a few months back when the war started. They hired civilian phlebotomists to help in the lab with pre-deployment blood work. I loved that job. I questioned the service men and women constantly, learning about their jobs. I memorized what the stripes meant, though I’ve forgotten now. I was in awe of them. They were people, like me, but there was something special about them. They were young, most of them, and we liked to party and when they were out of uniform, they were like me. But there was still something special about them. A camaraderie, a mutual love for one another.

None of those I worked with had been deployed to a war zone yet, but they were all ready to go. I’d ask them if they were scared and they’d say it was their job. Each and every one of them were ready to go die for their country. They’d tell me this with that look in their eyes, that hardened look, yet full of love for their country. Then the subject would turn to sports or music and they were just like me.

I’ve lost touch with all of them and I often wonder if they are all still ok. Anytime I hear about a soldier dying, I listen to see if it’s anyone I knew and it never is. I still feel a pang though. Usually the news only reports on people who were from here. All my friends from the air force base were stationed here, but not from here. So would I know if anything happened to them?

While remembering those who have died for us, I want to celebrate those still serving. Those ready to go into battle. Sadia just posted about readiness, about what her husband Lucus, an active duty member, must be ready for at all times. She writes about how she and the other military spouses must be ready also.

So to current active duty and their families, I thank you.

To those who have died in service, thank you.

Today I remember the fallen I never knew and celebrate those I don’t know who currently serve this country.

God bless the USA.

3 Comments

Filed under holiday, Jayden, misty eyes

3 Responses to Can Memorial Day also be current active duty day?

  1. Moving post Ro. Very poingent.

  2. Beautiful post. We have two of our kids, a daughter and a son, in the Air Force. I love the idea of making it an Active Duty day too!

  3. You’re sweet, and you’re right. Active duty folks deserve recognition, but I think they get it more than they used to. I often think about how much this nation has matured since Vietnam, and how elegantly people who are anti-war are still able to be pro-military.

    While it would nice to have an Active Duty Day, I think that Memorial Day deserves its own separate place of honour. Those who died in service to their nation (whether the US or otherwise) deserve their own recognition.

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