Tomorrow is Memorial Day. A day for memories, for prayers, for tributes to those who gave their lives so we could live.
Our flag flies at half-mast on Memorial Day. I grew up in a military family, and I married two military men...uh, not at the same time, however. Both fought in wars that this country involved itself in, one, WWII, not brought on by anything we did, the other, Korea, a war we probably should not have intruded upon. But both were out of the service by the time I married them.
My brother was twelve years older than I, and in his first year of college when he decided to enlist in the Air Force during WWII. I was just a little girl, but he was my hero and I was devastated when he left for the service. He signed up for four years, and came home only once during that time. That short leave was one of the happiest times of my life.
In April, 1945, he and his B-17 crew were awaiting rotation home when his best friend, also a pilot, received word from the Red Cross that he should come home immediately, as his wife had been severely injured in a car crash. My brother volunteered to take his friend's last flight, and when his crew heard about it, they all volunteered to fly with him. The mission was over Berlin. It was the last bombing raid before Germany's Hitler surrendered. That morning, fifty-two bombers went out. That afternoon, forty-seven came back. David's plane, "Lil' Sis", was not one of the forty-seven.
Three days later, I was reading David's last letter to me when a car pulled up in front of our house. A major, a captain, and an Air Force Chaplain stepped out. I had grown up all over the world from one Army base to another, and I knew what that meant. My brother, my hero, was gone, and my life would never be the same.
Today, Richard will put up the flag, and tomorrow it will go to half-mast. For David, for my father, for my former husband, for all the friends we have lost over the years, some not military at all. It will fly at half-mast for my closest and dearest friend who died so very suddenly and unexpected just before Thanksgiving last year, and whose death once again changed my life. And that flag will fly at half-mast not just for us, but for all the men and women who have lost their lives fighting someone, something, that the United States has declared an "eminent danger" to the US...even when it possibly wasn't. It will fly in memory of, and as a tribute to, all those fallen heros.
Will your flag fly tomorrow? Will it be lowered to half-mast? If so, for whom will it fly?
Until next time, God Bless.
That's a wrap.