Today is Memorial Day in the United States. Lots of people consider it the official start of summer, a nice holiday weekend, a day for great sales. And it is all of those, but it is also so much more.
In March, we went on a week-long vacation to San Diego, California. It’s a great city to visit with kids (or without – we just happened to have ours along) and during our whale watching trip the guide mentioned Cabrillo National Monument. I had never heard of it, but was intrigued when he mentioned that it is second in the amount of visitors only to the Statue of Liberty.
We altered our plans to be able to spend some time out on Point Loma and Cabrillo National Monument. If you are ever in San Diego, please go – it’s worth it!
One of the neat things about Cabrillo is that it is situated within an active military base. You actually drive past the military housing on your way into the Monument. You also drive past Fort Rosecrans National Cemetary.
On both sides of the 2-lane road leading into the monument stand rows, and rows, and rows or white headstones overlooking San Diego Harbor and the Pacific Ocean.
There are over 101,000 men and women buried here and all of them served our country. Every single person that resides in this place believed strongly enough in the cause of my freedom and your freedom to put on a uniform and risk their lives defending that idea.
Some of them died defending that idea. Others came home, changed from who and what they were when they left.
So, I ask of you this one simple thing today, Memorial Day. As you go about your holiday activities, barbecuing, shopping, resting and relaxing, take a moment and remember those that have served our country during times of war and in times of peace. Remember those that are currently acting in service to our country. Remember their husbands and wives, and their children, still at home and praying for a safe return. Remember their mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers. Say a little prayer for them – for safety, for peace, for homecoming.
And if you know a veteran or happen to meet one while you are out and about, say thanks. Shake their hand. Look them in the eye and show gratitude for their sacrifice.
Happy Memorial Day!