Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

I would really like to say thank you, to veterans past and present who have served and are continuing to serve our country, so we can all be free.

I used to be a news junkie, but between having a child and everything that's in the news today, it can be quite anxiety-provoking.  Between violent extremism and what can seem like an all around erosion of moral values, listening to the news can be disheartening, sometimes hiding your head in the sand seems like the best way to go.

I am in the process of reading 1776 by David McCullough and my family took a recent trip to the Gettysburg site.  Between the American Revolution and the Civil War, one can be amazed how our great country survived such great turmoil.  I am sure there are plenty of people back then that lived in even more anxiety than we do today and who felt every bit like the world was turned upside down.

I also look back at my great-grandfather, who though he was at the tail-end of World War I, I think may have had PTSD.  He was a medic, and it's hard to pin down exactly where he worked, but one can imagine in the first war that chemical weapons were used, there was plenty of reason for PTSD.  He went on to even get electroshock therapy.  Our veterans continue to suffer the invisible wounds of war, but how awful, that back then, there wasn't a name or acknowledgement of it.

Than there's my grandfather.  He fought in the Battle of The Bulge and more in Europe.  Only in his later years did he start telling us more about his service, and there was plenty more he didn't explain.  I remember how excited he was to read one of my college books, about a French-Jewish refugee and how he could relate to just how wonderful a tomato sandwich on French Bread was.  I imagine that was a wonderful memory not only because Meals-Ready-To- Eat were probably pretty horrible back then, but also because it was probably one of few pleasant experiences he had.

Then there are those veterans today.  Some are cousins, some are friends.  I thank them all for their service.  When I think about these wonderful people who have given up their homes, friends and even families temporarily or for the ultimate sacrifice, I cry.  I also am less anxious.  May God Bless this Country, because as long as we have these people who sacrifice so much, there is Hope for us all.

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