Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day...

Rom. 14: 19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
I remember when I was a kid, Memorial Day meant a day off of school, and a day where we had cookouts. You could smell the grills churning from blocks away. It was as if everyone in the city had a cookout on this day.

We didn’t really celebrate it as a Memorial Day to soldiers who served our country, and little did I know about the day or the sacrifices made. You could call me ignorant to the facts, but no one ever really just said it plain and simple for me, so I could appreciate and honor the day and respect those who served.

My Dad always hung the flag, “Because it’s Memorial Day.” He was a Marine himself in his day, and I had many family members who served, fought in wars, and possibly died later from PTSD.

As I sat in church yesterday, and they showed a clip of a Dad taking his son to Washington DC for memorial day, I was hit with a ton of memories, a floodgate opened up and I appreciated the soldier in a whole new light.

The man went to the Capital, he took his son to the birthplace of our founding fathers, the White House, Lincoln Memorial and then they ended the day at Arlington Cemetery. The boy asked what all the crosses were for, and the dad said, “Heroes.” As the son turned around a soldier stood Saluting a grave, “Dad? Is he a hero too?” The father quietly whispered, “Yes son, he’s a hero too.”

These were all places that as a child, were part of our annual school field trips, since we only lived about 30 minutes away. We never went to any of these places as a family, because my family was too busy fighting the years of dysfunction to be bothered with ‘family’.

Which brings me to the other part of our service yesterday. It was about the importance a grandparent holds for generations to come. How they essentially determine what the future generations will bring forth in life. Pastor Mike went on to give examples of former Presidents, whose descendent's produced many political senator’s, presidents, and other upstanding citizens. While at the same time, he took a murderer, and looked at say, 500 of his descendants. Over half followed suit and were either incarcerated or followed the path of the illegal.

That scared me. I had four grandparents, two who died when I was eight, within two months of one another. While extremely of poor lineage and alcoholics, they had a heart of gold. My other two grandparents were boozers I call them. They come from and were taught to be selfish, greedy and to drink your problems away.

Maybe that is why I was an alcoholic before the age of twelve. I never had good examples to look up to. So I began carving a new me, I looked up to new things. I accepted God and built a life around him and as he embraced me, essentially becoming my grandparent, we strode together to form something to pass down to MY next generation.

As you have your cookout today, as you sit with family. Look around you, and see just what it is that you as a human being are going to pass down to YOUR future generations.

And Thank you Soldiers of past and present... I thank you and appreciate all you have done for me and the generations that will look up to and follow you.

God Bless America!

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