“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis
Today is Memorial Day evening, for us it was a day of morning coffee, chores, family bike rides and walks. The weather was perfect. The crowds were happy. It was a good day.
I spent some time reflecting on the brave soldiers that fought to keep our country safe. One of those men was my uncle, my mother’s brother. He was a fighter pilot in WW2. His name was Robert, Bob for short. He was 24 years old when he died. Uncle Bob was flying over a small town in France when his plane was shot at. He was going down. There was an open field in which he could’ve landed, but as he scoped it out he realized that a crowd of men, women, and children were gathering in the field. He diverted his plane to a grove of trees, knowing full well that he would not survive the crash, but choosing to give his life to save the lives of the people.
My mother was 14 when her brother died. All her life she hoped to visit France in memory of her brother. When she turned 70 years old my brothers and I took her to France. We visited the town where his plane went down and met a man that witnessed his plane fly into the grove of trees. The man was a child at the time. He told us the entire story and took us to the field. He showed us a plaque that the people of the town made in honor of the man that flew into the grove of trees to save them. It was very moving, and I realized that day how much our soldiers love this country, and because they love this country they love me and you. They are willing to give their lives so we can live.
The sacrifice my uncle made gave one country courage, for he saved so many lives. It also tore his own family apart. It brought great pain to my mother, and her mother. Yet, still the willingness to give for country was still in the family line. My son joined the National Guard, and he was proud to serve his country. On his back he has a tattoo “Freedom is not Free.” There is always someone that has to give so we can be free, always.
Now, here we are. Covid is mostly behind us and we are free to leave our homes and celebrate that freedom. Yet, our country fights. We still fight over masks. We fight over political parties. We fight over vaccines. We fight over leaders. We fight over religion. We fight over race. We fight, fight, and fight some more. This is not brave fighting. This not choosing to aim for the grove; it’s actually killing our people!
And so, this Memorial Day I thank God for His sacrifice, the one that has saved us for all eternity.5