In addition to visiting Fort Snelling National Cemetery and Lakewood Cemetery every Memorial Day, we also spend time with family – grilling, doing yard work, and sleeping in. As a working mom, it’s also an extra day I’m blessed to spend with our fifteen-month-old daughter, Haley. This year, while Daddy helped Grandma with some gardening, Haley and I meandered along the sidewalk holding hands. And the next thing I knew, she tumbled chipmunk teeth first into the pavement, sprawled out.
I’ve never been squeamish when it comes to blood. But I’ve also never seen my child covered in it, wailing. In her entire life, her worst injuries have amounted to a couple minor bumps and bruises I can count on one hand.
These days, with my baby toddling and exploring, all I want to do is protect her. And somewhere between trying to keep ice on her lip and the blood off of her grandma’s pale yellow rug, I had a fleeting impression of another side of Memorial Day.
In the past, I’ve spent the day reflecting on the service and sacrifices of my grandparents’ generation. I’ve never really taken the time to ponder the parents who bravely trust their babies into the service of our country. We most certainly should thank their sons and daughters for serving our country and protecting our freedoms. But as I scooped my daughter up to cuddle her pain away, I am reminded to thank these parents for the sacrifices they make each day. Not only do they entrust their children to our military to do this noble work – they allow their children to protect them.
So to those who have served, are serving, and will serve our county and protect our liberties, whether grandparents, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, or our children, thank you for your service.
Memorial Day is a time to remember. And a time to say thank you.