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Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Memories

Well today was Memorial Day, a day we are supposed to take time to remember our service members past and present. The concept is a good one, but for me it's kind of a two edged sword. I feel like we shouldn't need a day to remember because this is something we should always be doing. I have never knowingly met a service member whom I did not thank for his or her service and I thank God each and every day for those who fight for the very freedom I enjoy each and every day, I also take time each day to pray for those who are away from their families and for those who have lost loved ones.

I suppose I understand the purpose of Memorial Day and as I said I think it's a great concept but really what does it say about the people of our nation that we have to be reminded of the sacrifice given to provide what we enjoy each day?

I spent most of the morning attempting to watch the NASCAR race on television however the weather was not cooperating in Charlotte, NC and twice the race had to be stopped because of rain, and ultimately it was ended early just over halfway because the officials decided that the weather just was not going to clear enough to finish this race. The race was actually supposed to be held yesterday but after delaying the start of the race for over 3 hours they decided to postpone it until today. This race is always held on Memorial Day Weekend each year, and always this race brings out our service members and honors them just as they did this year. Yesterday most of the remembrance took place, though today NASCAR did something touching. At 3pm when our president asked for a moment of silence to remember our fallen the officials actually stopped the cars where they were, asked that they be turned off, requested that the audience rise to their feet, and that the crew chiefs stand at the edge of their boxes, and the pit crews come out of the box and stand in the pit.

It was touching in that moment to hear the absoloute silence at Lowe's Motor Speedway. I have only heard that silence a few times in NASCAR. This is something that I truely love about NASCAR auto racing, it is truely an American organization, and it really is a family sport. NASCAR fans are very loyal, but they are also some of the most well behaved spectators I have ever seen! I personally can not recall a time where the spectators made the news because of a riot, or because they caused damage to a track or car or driver...they are just really some respectfull people.

Anyway, it was during this very moment of silence that my son surprised me. He came into the living room saw the TV on, heard no noise, saw daddy and I standing in the kitchen silent, and he simply waited. My son who is only 4 actually stood there for a full minute and said nothing until he heard the sound resume on the tv! When the sound did come back he looked at daddy and I and said why's everyone so quiet, and can I have a drink of water? So after giving him his drink I sat down and explained why we were so quiet. That same child prayed for our military this evening before going to bed.

I tell this to you only because it surprised me that at 4 he seemed to understand the necessity of the silence, and he chose to honor it without knowing why. Then when he was told why, he chose to remember it and to put the soldiers in his prayers after hours of playing, eating, swimming and other things he did today he could still remember that our soldiers needed prayer and he prayed. I do not take credit for his actions, because I believe that respect for our country and for those who defend her is not something that can be taught. Sure we can teach the Pledge of Allegiance, and we can teach proper care of the flag and other things that show respect, but these are just actions. I don't believe that one can be taught to feel respect for our country and our military, just as one can not be taught to feel respect for others, we teach the action of respect but the feeling that is something different, something that each person has to learn on their own. My 4yo chose today to learn that feeling of respect, for that I am thankful.


  1. Thank you for explaining what memorial day is. I kept hearing Americans speak of it with no idea. As a Quaker I have issues with the military [yet my oldest boy is serving in the armed forces so go figure] but everyone is deserving of respect & that I can give our military with a clear conscience.

  2. Birbitt, what a special moment! Very sweet.


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