A Day of Remembrance – Not Politics

2015-04-09 10.18.08

I woke up this morning with a blog post swirling in my head. I think it has to do with the fact that I was listening to the news last night which is not something I normally do (I made a decision almost two years ago to turn off the radio in my car and to stop watching the news on TV because I found that it would either 1) make me sad, or 2) make me mad, very seldomly making me glad). Last night before I went to bed I was thinking about the political scene going on currently in the United States –  how angry and obnoxiously loud the candidates feel they need to be in order to be heard. Wondering to myself, why?

The thoughts in my head as soon as I woke up were a bit judgemental, judgemental about how people are so angry about politics and war. I was filled with judgement that the intention of the Memorial Day holiday has been lost among the masses. Then I opened up a message on Facebook about consciously being a light for others and I realized that I was not being a light because I was judging others… I was not being the unconditional love that I would like to see in our world.

I realized that people are not purposely ignoring why Memorial Day exists. I think most people have not experienced having someone they know killed while serving our country, so Memorial Day does not have a personal impact on most people.

Last year, I was one of those people. I did not personally know anyone who had died while in the military, so I did not grasp the importance of Memorial Day. I would go and place flowers on the graves of my family members, and flags on the graves of my dad (WWII Veteran), and my grandfathers (WWI Veterans) to honor their service, because Memorial Day was a day of remembering my family, not really remembering all of the servicemen and women who have given their lives to protect not only the people of our country, but also those of other countries.

Then this past January, I spent five days (literally twenty-four hours a day) with Jill Stephenson (www.iamjillstephenson.com) as we travelled from Minnesota to Florida by car. Those five days gave me the gift of understanding what Memorial Day is all about because Jill’s son, Cpl. Benjamin Kopp, died from injuries he sustained while protecting fellow soldiers in Afghanistan. Ben was only twenty-one years old… the only child of this single mother.

benjamin-kopp-and-mother-jill-stephenson-photo-01

Those five days introduced me to the child Ben, who was obsessed with being an Army Ranger from the time he was a kid. Those five days introduced me to the woman who was both mother and father to this child. Those five days introduced me to the handsome, bright-eyed, somewhat cocky, and charismatic young man Ben grew up to be.

Those five days also introduced me to the “Ranger family”, the family not related by blood but related by spirit and soul. The Ranger family who holds Ben and his mother in the highest regard because they have given the highest level of sacrifice – to lay down one’s life to protect another.

This morning I have come to realize that it doesn’t matter to me what President Obama said or did that was newsworthy. It doesn’t matter to me what Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump, or Bernie Sanders have said or done recently.

What matters to me today is that there are many moms, dads, spouses, sisters, brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and comrades who are grieving the death of their loved ones, who died because serving our country was a calling to them… it was their life purpose to lay down their lives to make a difference for those of us who are allowed to live another day.

I thank you Benjamin Kopp and all who served and died before and after you. I bow my head in honor for your sacrifice of human life to help aid your fellow human beings here  on U.S. soil and also those from afar.

I offer you peace.

I offer you love.

I offer you friendship.

I see your beauty.

I hear your need.

I feel your feelings.

My wisdom flows from the highest Source.

I salute that Source in you.

Let us work together. For unity and peace.

~Mahatma Ghandi

 

 

 

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