Monday, May 26, 2008
May We Never Ever Forget
(Wichita, KS) I attended Memorial Day services today at a setting that caused chill bumps as soon as I drove in the park. Cemetery roads lined with large American flags blowing in the wind will tend to do that to you. Seeing a flag on every veteran’s grave in this large cemetery caused me to move from chill bumps to throat lumps.
One of the distinguished speakers today said that our nation gets it right on Memorial Day. I certainly hope that is true. I am very certain that Wichita gets it right.
They came by the hundreds if not thousands to the sacred burial ground known as Resthaven Mortuary and Cemetery. My friends Mark Hansen and Leroy Stein and their team put on quite a show. It was the kind of show that made you quickly forgot whether you are a Democrat or a Republican.
The speakers included such folks as a Wichita City Councilman, a United States Marine Corps Captain, an Air Force Colonel, the Kansas Secretary of State, a Brigadier General and a United States Senator. There were Bagpipers, Chorus Groups, soloists, a trio, a couple of Boy Scout troops and a high school band and much more.
Today every single person gathered at this over the top event celebrated the fact that we are Americans. When you ponder the thought of the sacrifices people before us have made to give us the freedoms we enjoy, you can’t help to be extremely proud…. and humbled.
I helped an elderly lady find a couple of large flags that were among the hundreds of flags that had been place there in memory of loved ones. In her case the two flags were in memory of two very special people in her life – her husband and her son. Her eyes fill with tears as she touched each flag pole. My eyes filled with tears as I watched her.
While I was attending this memorial service, a friend who happens to be stationed in Germany emailed me a photo taken this morning at a cemetery in France. Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial is the largest American World War II Cemetery in Europe. In case you cannot read the inscription:
To these we owe the high resolve that the cause for which they died shall live.
May we never ever forget.