Listen up. It's Memorial Day, the day of all days day to remember the fallen, kneel in prayer to honor those soldiers who physically are no longer with us on earth but who, in memory and spirit, yet hold a special place in the center of our hearts.
It is a time to honor those who fought bravely and died by enemy fire. It is a time to honor those who died by accident while carrying out their mission. And it is time to honor those who died by friendly fire like Pat Tillman (pictured below) but whose life and death was intentionally exploited and mishandled by the military. And it is a time to honor the women in the military like PFC LaVena Johnson who died at the hands of a fellow officer from sexual assault, rape and death to cover it up. They all loved their country and made the supreme sacrifice to keep us free.
It is a time to stand not only for the fallen yesterday but for those still standing today. They need our help. They need attention for physical injuries that sometimes take a long time to heal; and they need attention for psychological injuries that may last a lifetime.
They need help in adjusting back to another type of life, a life where they sometimes feel no one seems to need or care about them once they are out of uniform.
The Daddy says kneel to honor the fallen and stand with veterans and help them improve their lives at home and abroad. Here's what you can do:
* Write President Obama and urge him to to lessen the red tape so our soldiers can get service more quickly, especially for PTSD;
* Fight for better services for veterans in your communities. Veterans make up a large segment of the homeless and unemployed in this country. Some even live under bridges;
* Fight for services that assist soldiers as families. Sadly, many veterans returning home have to deal not only with their experience abroad but experiences at home that came about as a result of their mission abroad as the loss of their job, increased financial debt, a worsened credit rating, tension with their wives, husbands, and estrangement from their own children, and an American population that doesn't have a clue about what they've through; and
* Remember our brave soldiers not only on Memorial Day but throughout the year.
This is a poem by Rev. Connie Gibbs from The United Methodist Church in Virginia. The Daddy hopes Reverend will not mind him using it on this Memorial Day.
by Rev. Connie Gibbs (copyright, 2003)
We pause on this Memorial Day, a brief moment in time,
To bring close to our hearts those memories we hold so dear
Of the men and women before us who unselfishly put their dreams, their lives on the line.
Where danger lay as a stalker,
waiting to take away each breath, while the soldier
plowed with determination the furrows of death.
We must remember, we must, you and I,
those special heroes who chose to fly,
to fly the skies of blue that turned as dark as the midnight sky,
Their wings began to shudder as smoke choked their breath away,
And hope gave way to the resignation, "Today, I'm going to die."
Treading the waters so deep and wide,
Men and women continued on their mission,
For God and country, their hearts would abide.
Surprised by attacks with brutal disregard for human life,
they fought to the end, knowing that life and limb would be lost,
whether of self or friend.
Yes by land, by sea, and in the skies,
they fought for our land,
they fought for freedom so that you and I might stand,
Stand for what is right, for what is good and true,
fight that we might say without fear, "God loves you."
Yes, we must remember, for freedom is not cheap,
or lives and limbs were lost so that we might keep,
All the things that we can have and all the things we can do,
Like cars and boats and a house with a roof,
Like going to church without fear,
and reading the Bible where we find the truth,
The truth of knowing that whether we are red, yellow, black,
We are all God's children and we need to learn to love one another as God first loved us.
For if there is to be peace on earth,
where all men and women are free,
it must begin with each and all of us,
let it begin with you and me.