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Memorial Day Thoughts

Some things change dramatically over time and I noticed that last night as I watched the Memorial Day concert from D.C. The story of the family whose son lost most of his brain got me and from that point to the end – I sobbed. When we lived in D.C., my son and I, along with friends, always went to the Memorial Day concert – ditto the 4th of July and Labor Day concerts. They were picnics on the lawn, kids climbing trees, music and good food.

We left D.C. in ’96 and things have changed since then and last night’s concert was certainly an example. It was more somber than any I have seen on TV since I left D.C. and also in that period of time I was a military mommy for 8 years.

I think all women and most men cry at the loss of a child – it happened in the 40’s 50’s 60’s and 70’s during WWII, Korea and Vietnam – and it still happens. I have been weeping for those lost in war since WWII [when my dad was in the military.] Both my dad and son were fine and were never in harms way – for which I was/am selfishly happy. But I had a stomach ache/ongoing worry for 8 years when my son was in and wondered on a daily basis if he’d be sent into war – especially after Sept 11, 2001. We, as parents, are not supposed to outlive our babies – it’s not part of our psyches.

And so last night and still today – I weep for those mommies and daddies who have lost their children and for those children who have lost their mommies and daddies…and for those who lost husbands, wives and partners. It matters not how old we are – we hurt. To quote George McGovern: “I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.”

Do not spend the day celebrating war or conflict – spend it in sober reflection about those who died and those who are wounded….and hug your kids – no matter how old they are.

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