Today Is a Time to Remember

It’s Memorial Day in the United States of America. A time to remember all the sacrifices that have been made so that we can have the freedom to dream and make those dreams come true.

I have been thinking and writing about the future in the last several blogs. I feel that it is appropriate to turn attention today to the men and women who have given their lives and to the countless others who have made sacrifices in other areas so that all of us can have a future in a land that’s free. We can have freedom of speech, religion, and the press. Because of the gift of freedom to us, we have multiple career choices and can choose where and how we will live. We can incubate an idea and grow that idea into a booming business. We can endure failure, keep trying, and ultimately end up successful. If we are willing to make the effort and exercise persistence, eventually we will realize varying degrees of success. America is a land of hope and promise. America is a land where dreams can still come true.

I feel that the greatest export that the United States has to offer is the American dream. Now many other countries around the world are offering people the freedom to dream and to accomplish their cherished goals. In all cases, freedom has been purchased for an expensive price and must be maintained through continued sacrifice.

Three years ago, one of my elderly relatives who lived outside of Texas died. His wife had predeceased him. They had no children. A few months after his death, I received a call from his executor telling me that his wish was to have all his personal items brought back to Texas so that they would be kept in his boyhood hometown. I drove to the Eastern seashore to pick up those items and transport them back to Texas per his dying wish.

One rainy Saturday afternoon, I began the arduous task of filing through his personal belongings and discovered many interesting items. One of the objects that I noticed was a U.S. Army helmet. Upon previous conversations with him, I had known he had been involved in the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944. I lifted the helmet from the box and held it in front of me, gazing at it for a long time. I wondered: Was this helmet worn on that June day so long ago? If this helmet could talk, what stories of hardship and battle, lives lost and skirmishes won would it tell? Somehow, this item made World War II real to me. Perhaps I held part of that war in my hand. For a good while, I thought about the many young heroes who left their homeland never to return. And I thought with appreciation about those who left America only to return injured for life. Their lives were changed forever.

Before and after World War II, there have been other conflicts and wars, each generation having made sacrifices for the freedoms of the generations to follow. I will be forever grateful to those heroes as I enjoy this peaceful afternoon with its beautiful blue skies and gentle breezes.

I live in America, a land that’s free because of those who were and are brave. May God continue to bless our country from sea to shining sea.

Yes, today is a day for remembering. Today is a day to be grateful for past and present heroes. Today is a day filled with hope and peace.

©2009, Carolyn Corbin. All rights reserved.

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