Memorial Day Musings…..

When I was little, my Grandpa told me something I would never forget:

It is not so important what you say, Barbie, it is important what you hear.  You must always listen to people.

And I listened to his wisdom, and it has blessed me many times over.  I listen to people, I learn from them, and it has enriched my life in ways I never imagined.   It is easy in life to be around people, but how often do we actually see them?  Pay attention?  Learn from them?

And every year around Memorial Day weekend, my mind is flooded with stories people have shared with me.  Often, I cry.  All right, every year I cry.

The flags in the windows during World War II.  Each one representing a son who is gone.  A mother gently hanging them there.  Sometimes not just one, but several.

My Uncle, Charles Kovel, who was one of the first waves of troops on Iwo Jima.  Who was wounded for in service, and shares his stories with me.  The good, the horrible.  The downright terrifying to me stories.  I learn from every one, and grow as a person.  I see through his sharing the sacrifices that people make, and from all sides.

From the families that worry, to the spouses left, to the children who don’t have a parent because they are off fighting and protecting.  To the men on the ‘other side’ who have the same issues.

You see, this is not an issue of war.  It is too easy to get caught up in that – today is an issue of people.  And it is complex, I know.  But today is not just BBQ’ing and a day off.  Today is a day to listen to what our servicemen and women have to say.  To realize the sacrifice they make.  To listen and to see them.

It is not about right or wrong, pro military or against.  It is not a celebration of war.  Nor is today about politics.  It is about human beings.  It is about our families, our countrymen.   It is about stepping out of our box for a bit and recognizing what they went through.

And remembering our servicemen are people – just like you and I.  The are not machines, and they do and see things in service to our country that I will never, ever want to even imagine.  I don’t think I could handle it.

I will be going to a BBQ later tonight, and it will be awesome.  I will wear my hippie skirt and peace tshirt.  I will listen to people, and learn things.   And I will be grateful I live in country that I can do so.  And for those that protect my right to be free, to work for peace, and to live the blessed life I do.

I hope you have a great one as well!

We will be open Tuesday at 11:45 am.  I may be a titch hung over.  But still happy!

Peace,
Barbie

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2 Comments

  1. Laura said,

    May 30, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Hey Dear – Thank you for taking the time to share this. I agree with all that you have shared and enjoy your blog.

    I am a Peace Monger to the core but also am a realist. I understand the need for a military defense and to take action – I am sad over this most of the time but I understand. When 911 happened, I understood the need for retaliation give the world as it stands. I am still so VERY VERY sad over this. I will work tirelessly for us to respect each other and for a one world community that is willing to give so we can all live.

    With this said, on this Memorial Day I remember a few very specific stories. Barbie, I too was blessed with a family that passed down stories and shared deeply. You and I share that blessing.

    Every year I remember the Sullivan brothers. Five brothers that joined the Navy with the stipulation that they serve together and…they all died together. The Sullivan law was passed after that to seperate siblings and ensure that entire families do not give their lives. The Pearl Harbor footage is vivid in my head as our men and women scurry pointlessly to try to avoid the invasion that would take their lives and the frightening possibility that Roosevelt knew of the impending attack and allowed it in order to have cause to enter the war. Lastly, I remember a meeting I had when I was about 16 with a Viet Nam veteran. He explained to me that most soldiers rotate in/out of combat at a rate of approximately 30 days. He said when he served in Viet Nam that the average was 300-400 days at a time.

    I will continue to work for Peace and a global consideration of ALL people of the earth.

    L

  2. May 31, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Laura,

    Thank you so much for sharing! I am so happy that you did.

    I too will continue to work for peace, and am glad to have found a sister in peace.

    Barbie


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