Service is basic to most cultures. Someone is always in service to someone else. That’s been true throughout history. Even in our homes, serving one another is vital for harmony and growth in our relationships. A healthy marriage practices mutual service, out of love and devotion. Our children see this devotion and, hopefully, will emulate that kind of loving service in their own families when they grow up.
When it comes to our nation, service to the ideals and principles of our founders guides us as citizens to care for the well-being of our nation — to its people, our fellow citizens. This kind of national service is most vividly seen in the sacrifice of our service men and women throughout our nation’s history.
Memorial Day is a time to remember that many men and women devoted themselves to keep our way of life secure. In both wartime and peace, our uniformed military display a measure of sacrifice which even makes them vulnerable to injury and death, the ultimate price for their patriotism.
Most of us do not know the details of how these heroes gave of their years and even their lives to defend the United States of America. But their service to our nation is important to remember each year, at least. My wife, Vivian, and I both had fathers who served in wartime, along with other relatives. One of our sons served, as did one of our grandsons. I remember fondly my friendship with Col. Jim Motley, a true patriot and warrior who led men into battle to keep our nation free. He didn’t exploit the details of his service in casual conversation; true heroes don’t do that. They serve and then they quietly take care of their families once again after that service is over. And that’s what we should remember. The quiet sacrifice of heroes.
So, take time this weekend to share your gratitude with one of our fine men and women, or their families, who devoted years out of their lives to serve our nation and keep us free.