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Wednesday, September 19 2018 @ 12:23 pm PDT

Belated Memorial Day

General NewsMemorial Day this year was only typical in that it was my usual float between the military and civilian worlds. The whole "Happy Memorial Day" and "Do you have any plans?" bugged me like it bugged many of you. I wished I could have taken my son to one of the services, ideally the one at the national cemetery, but the timing just didn't work out with a toddler schedule.

So I remembered names and read new ones in wordless sympathy as friends posted their personal remembrances. And it seemed that so many people were wearing their Army shirts or Navy hats that day, and I knew they were thinking of someone.

All in all, it was a day lived in front of the eyes of the fallen. Would they approve of how we spent the day?

And a strange, beautiful truth: how would they have spent the day if they had not sacrificed themselves for our freedom, for their brothers? Would they have felt it was too high a price to pay for life? A different choice would have made a different person. They gave us their best; we stop short at asking God to rewrite that history.

Then there are the shadow memorials. We remember those who lost something of themselves through service. We remember that innocence even as we hold on with white knuckles to every effort to build a new, stronger life.

This Memorial Day, my heart remembered, but my hands changed diapers and planted flowers and packed the garage in anticipation of the next adventure. We've been given life. But we do well to remember how we received that gift.

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