Memorial Day is a day to contemplate and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to our nation. This weekend I join many families in remembering our country’s fallen heroes. I am thinking of my father, a Marine buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in 1986.
With each passing year the memories of my father become harder to remember. There is one thing that will never fade, and that’s the dedication he put into everything he did. Many other things contribute to the memories I have of him; things that I continually strive to own and perpetuate in my own life.
There is one memory that especially stand out around Memorial Day. It embodies what he and so many like him have done. I’m referring to an image of an eagle sitting atop a headstone in Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
The story, first reported in the Minneapolis Star and Tribune, is a simple one; nothing planned or contrived. It was a chance meeting of sorts, a man driving to work who decided to take a “detour”. That man is amateur photographer Frank Glick, who just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and through the mist of the morning he saw an eagle resting on a headstone.
The mighty eagle symbolizes freedom and strength. Whenever I see one soaring through the air, it causes me to take pause.
This image, however, is different. It shows a peaceful strength, and for me, created a moment to appreciate the man my father was; the dedication and love he had for God, his family, and his country. Just like countless others who have faithfully displayed the courage to go above and beyond. They remained steadfast in the principles of hard work and leadership. I believe this message was the driving force behind those who have been laid to rest in Fort Snelling, and in cemeteries across this nation.
It’s easy to lose sight of these things. They become lost in the mundane activities of our daily lives. I myself am guilty of this.
So, on this Memorial Day, as we remember our heroes, let us all strive to live life as these servicemen & women did. We must continue standing up for what is right and true; the greatness of our nation, and the principles it was founded upon. We must remember throughout the whole year, and not just on Memorial Day.
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