Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day Reflections

Posted by Leona Bergstrom

Observing Memorial Day this weekend is bittersweet. I love having some extra time off. I love that our little beachfront opens this weekend marking the beginning of summer. I love the parades, the picnics and the parks. But, Memorial Day also awakens places in my heart that continue to house muffled grief and loss.

Memorial Day brings back many memories for me. My Dad worked at a cemetery for 35 years and Memorial Day was always a busy time for all of us. My sister and I usually worked in the greenhouse or at the
information tent. One year I was a “DJ” of sorts, playing LP albums of hymns and broadcasting them over loudspeakers throughout the cemetery. I’m sure not everyone appreciated Tennessee Ernie Ford’s “Peace in the Valley” blaring across the air, but that was my job. I mostly remember block after block filled with flowers left by those who would honor their loved ones. The winding roads, always lined with hundreds of American flags saluted those who had served their country.

This year I’m particularly keen to what it means to serve one's country in war-ravaged lands. Three families in our small Bible study group have grown children serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Our prayer times are filled with urgent requests for safety, strength and faith. On this Memorial Day weekend, I want to honor them, thank them, and pray for their hearts and souls.

I always make it a point to go to a cemetery on Memorial Day. The flowers are vivid reminders that life is fragile and death is all too certain.  This year I’ll offer my words of thanks and my prayers for peace.

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