When Dylan was a little boy he was a Cub Scout. One of my all time favorite things the Scouts did was going to the Veterans Cemetery just before Memorial Day. Troops from all over the Portland area would meet up and be assigned a section of the cemetery. There was a flag ceremony at the beginning of the night with tributes and prayers from some of the local military organizations. “Taps” was played, and there wasn’t a dry eye to be seen.
Once the ceremony was done the Scouts headed out to their designated locations in the cemetery. Each boy was given a handful of small American flags, and a whisk broom. Dylan took his job serious. He swept the grave marker, wiping away leaves and dirt. He then placed the flag, and gave a salute.
There were fresh graves, some only days old. At that time we still had a lot of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Dylan would place a flag on a young man’s grave marker, and then place another flag right next to it from a WWII veteran. It took my breath away to look across the cemetery and watch all these boys placing flags and saluting at each Veteran’s grave site.
One year when we were at the cemetery with the Scouts placing flags I decided it was time to look up my dad’s grave marker. He did not die in a war but Dad did serve in the Marines during Vietnam. After roaming around going the wrong direction I finally found my dad’s grave site. It’s on a wall since Dad was cremated.
As soon as I saw my dad’s name on that grave marker I cried like a baby. My reaction surprised me since Dad’s death was quite a few years before that moment. You can’t predict grief. I was glad to see Dad’s name at the Veterans Cemetery. It’s a beautiful way to honor a family member who has served our country.
War is hell. So many lives have been lost during war time. Every life matters and is precious to the Creator of all life, Father God. Memorial Day is about remembering and honoring those Americans who have given their lives during war time.
Thank you to all who have lost a precious loved one while serving in the U.S. Military. May God bless and keep you.
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Love you all,
Please enjoy this video from the U.S. Army of “Taps” at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.