Memorial Day

Today here in the states we focus on those members of the armed forces who died while in service to the country. There is little we can do for the fallen. There is some comfort we can give to those left behind and we should but on this memorial day let us grieve also for those who have been wounded. Let us consider the hospital beds and the wheelchairs thousands of which are filled at this moment. Let us consider the suffering of those who sit vigil at the bedside of wounded warriors. Let us consider those who look into the other room of their house and see not the person who went off to war but the broken body that remains. Let us consider those with fine young bodies but tormented minds and broken spirits. Let us consider those who love them.

Yes, it’s a day to fly a flag for those who sacrificed their lives but please don’t ever forget that you don’t have to go to a national cemetery to honor sacrifice. On your street or around the block or on the other side of town is a house filled with suffering. There sits or lies or paces a wounded veteran. He or she could use a kind word or a nice lunch. The caretakers could use a movie ticket and a hour or two off. Maybe just sharing a cup of tea or coffee once a week and just listening. Anything and everything you could possibly do would be helpful.

When I was discharged from the Marines many years ago I thought of all the adventures I would have in my future and now when I walk the halls of the veterans hospital I see all the adventures that never will be. Some men and women left their lives on foreign soil and thousands upon thousands of others left so much more. Send a prayer to heaven today for those who passed and tomorrow reach out and pray for those who still suffer. The best way to honor the dead is to take care of their comrades.

(C) 2012 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride


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