May has been a crazy, busy month for me and it is very fitting that it ends with Memorial Day/Weekend. This day and the reason we “celebrate” it is making me sit back and think about how incredibly blessed we all are. Let me start from the beginning….
I just completed and submitted a cookbook that I have been working on for a few months that is for my family’s reunion this summer.
The ranch I grew up on was settled 119 years ago. The Olson family’s last reunion was in 1997 to celebrate the ranch centennial and this summer we celebrate the centennial for the barn that was built in 1916. My grandpa is one of 16 brothers and sisters; as I was putting this cookbook together, I learned quite a bit about all of them. Out of the 16, only four are still alive today, but the reason I have more understanding and respect for this long holiday (yes, that’s sad to say) is after learning about the six who served in the Military.
Three of them fought in World War II. I have three great-uncles, whom I’ve never met, but I have heard stories about, that fought so I can be free today. I don’t know why it hit me so hard as I was reading these, but it did. And the stories I’ve heard – mostly from my dad and grandpa – reflects the men they had become after the war; the brother who would jump at any loud noise is the story that always sticks out to me.
These men and women fought to protect people they didn’t know. I’m sure at the time they were thinking of their families, but did they understand the impact on the generations after them? It’s sad that many in these recent generations don’t understand – not the devastation at Pearl Harbor or the pure joy of V-Day. I know I don’t understand it, but I have a renewed respect for them. And for those who serve today – whether people choose to believe or not the soldiers today are fighting just as hard for our freedoms as the soldiers from 50, 60, 70 years ago. Why are so many against them? Why do so many lash out at them? Why have we lost our desire to show respect and gratitude?
It breaks my heart.
Veterans (and their families!), please forgive me for not showing you the gratitude and respect you have not only earned 100 times over but that you deserve to hear every day of your lives.
• “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” ~John 15:13 •
• And he said, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, Thou dost save me from violence. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; And I am saved from my enemies.” ~2 Samuel 22:2-4 •