By Lyle Rapacki
By the time you read my words, most likely the sun rays of Memorial Day have given way to the evening glow of night. The pool gatherings are breaking up and there is but a faint smell of the delicious meals prepared and enjoyed through the day. The final smiles and laughs are fading, and Aunt Emily’s infamous Potato Salad is safely back in a container someone was tasked to handle. All-in-all it was an iconic and wonderful day Americans are known for and accustomed to experiencing; almost taken for granted. There is nothing wrong with such a day, and those who directly made it possible are pleased they could offer such a slice of restful normalcy. Throughout the fun family activities, another family has kept the day, kept the memory as to why this day is set aside at all. Dressed in formal uniform with the shine on their shiny buttons and shoes brilliant, they stood, they marched, and they stopped, counted, turned and marched again repeating this maneuver in perfect stride balance posture and turns. They became soaking wet, too, but not because of a dip in a beautiful pool in a beautiful backyard with the lingering smell of bar-be-que wavering in the air, but soaked through and through due to the relentless rain. (See the photo below)
I’ve seen this “family member” several times in my life. I was even allowed to observe him on a cold and damp midnight visit…all was very quiet for acres upon acres all around. Not even a bird chirping. But there he was, polish upon polished, erect and deliberate in each step, each turn, each pause, and then turned and marched again in a perfect line with no wavering. It was dark, with faint light, it was cold with a faint breeze, it was damp covering concrete which made it all the colder, and there was a fog coming off the ground in the background, but the sight, the memory is forever etched in me, as was the feeling of honor, respect, dignity, humbled being allowed to quietly watch on in such close proximity. The “family member” to whom I refer has many, many brothers and sisters, many gone but not forgotten, many still around and not forgotten. It is a unique family, large but exclusive at the same time. Each member brings his/her own set of talents and personalities, but uniquely they choose to blend so there is an almost seamless cord that runs through this special family, and between each member. Regardless of where each family member resides, they each contribute to the “military family,” the band of brothers/sisters who experience life (and Memorial Day) much differently than the majority of Americans. And these family members are OK with that; they are just fine with those who have the pool parties and bar-be-ques, and Aunt Emily’s infamous potato salad. In a very real way they helped make the day possible, and some stand erect and move most sharply without making a wrinkle appear in their clothing.
Standing in front of the Tomb containing a “military family member” from each war but unknown except to God, allow me to close with these words:
I do not know your name – Nor which battle you died. I do not know your home, nor the tears that were cried.
But, I do know your spirit exists – That your courage is admired, and your sacrifice is honored by each soul that’s inspired.
Fellow patriots, please listen to this short, inspiring message from General Flynn. General Michael Flynn exemplifies patriotism, courage, and love of God and country - despite some of his own countrymen relentlessly attacking him. Donations for his defense are greatly appreciated. If you can only give $5.00, please do so - every little bit helps. Thank you so much, and God bless. Letter from General Flynn.
And I offer you from my heart Thank You, to guardians unknown for offering yourselves for us all that we may keep freedom
Bless you Military Family Member in the Tomb, and in each marker throughout the world where you paid the ultimate price so freedom could reign!
Bless you Military Family Member standing post in front of the Tomb, and across this world in places we may never know of or be able to pronounce, so freedom could reign!