Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Post Memorial Day Post ("It's a weekend of sacrifices"
My husband actually said that to the kids on Friday, when we decided not to take the trip out of town we were intending on taking. Thunderstorms were forecast for all of our destinations, so we decided to just stay home. And go shoe shopping, which everyone needed to do. The foot situation was getting dire in the household.
Let me tell you, we were surprised when the kids were as excited about getting new shoes as going to Philadelphia!
We managed to spend the entire day Saturday at the pool, which was heavenly (although I didn't actually swim... I sat by the side and read.... did I mention heavenly?).
Sunday was church, shoe shopping, and a rare movie in a theatre for us.
And Monday... well, Monday is Memorial Day for us in the US. So we did what the day is intended to do. We honored those who have served - and died - for this country. We took the metro out to Arlington Cemetery (with a million of our closest friends) and walked around the cemetery talking about how each of the seemingly never-ending gravestones marks the life of someone who loved this country enough to fight for it.
The graves go back to the Revolutionary War and continue to the present day. There are over a quarter million people buried there. It is truly humbling to look as far as you can see and see the graves stretched out over hillsides and across creeks with barely a breath between them.
I love this country. I've traveled lots of places, lived in other countries. but this is always home to me. We are far from perfect. Often I am exasperated and angry at this country. I am sometimes angry that every step we take to make it better, we take a step away from what it was founded on and meant to be - one not necessarily requiring the other... it just ends up that way.
But I love this country. I love that we can say what we want without fear of prosecution. I love that I can go to church on Sundays and worship God freely. I love that I am free to pursue whatever job I want, that I have the opportunity to make my life, and that of my children, better than the ones who came before me. I love that the sky is the limit. I love that the supermarkets are dependably full of food. I love that even though I don't always agree with my government, for the most part they are still about making this country a better place instead of hoarding power and wielding it over us. I love that it is relatively safe. I love that I as a woman can drive, and vote, and hold equal positions as men, and raise children, and speak in public.
And I am so humbled and grateful that generations of people before me have given me those right and privileges, and that for some that cost them their lives.
Today, life goes on as usual for our family. The husband is back at work, the children back at school, I am back at the computer. But I am glad, for a brief moment, we took the time to stop and think about what a gift our lives are.
When you stop and think about that, it wasn't any kind of sacrificial weekend at all.