Memorial Day

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It’s Memorial Day… Normally I don’t do anything… We as a family just have never paid much mind to Memorial Day. Both of my parents were in the army for several years and even when my mom’s husband was in, we still never really did anything for it.

However, this year, I’ve gotten a new perspective, new information, new insights, new views from the outside, I’ve watched people become overwhelmed with emotion as Memorial Day affects them deeply due to losing people and I see a deep devotion in a friend of mine who is also in the army…

I think partially due to being involved in massage, I feel like I’ve become more deeply connected to people’s feelings and struggles even though I don’t know them, or even never knowing them or still don’t know them… When people are struggling with everything they’ve been through so much that we have got 22 suicides a day… I don’t handle suicide well anyway and to hear that breaks my heart. My partner pointed out to me the other day, he was saying that they count the deaths from battle, but they don’t count the suicides that occur due to those wars so essentially we are adding on approximately 22 deaths per day…

To hear the mass numbers of people that died within the first hour of battle… For example, the Battle of the Somme in 1916 one day… ONE day… 60,000 casualties…. 60,000 in one day… That stopped me in my tracks when I heard that today… As far as I’m finding that first day, they are figuring 20,000 of those were deaths. And again, from what I’m finding there were approximately 1,120,000 casualties from that war.

During the Iraq War 4,500 U.S. service members were killed and 32,220 were wounded; in Afghanistan, 2,165 have been killed and 18,230 wounded and again, not counting suicides…

Yesterday (now Saturday instead of Sunday) I was at a Memorial Day gathering and they listed off the number of deaths starting at WWI to current day and I think it finally settled in how many wives, husbands, sons, daughters, brothers and/or sisters and friends weren’t going back home… How many families had to hear that heart-wrenching knock on the door…

Maybe it’s striking a deeper chord with me because of my partner who is currently deployed, thinking of how I would feel if something happened to him… Thinking that even though we haven’t been in touch for the past 12 years or so and just reconnecting a month ago, the thought of anything happening to him… And if I feel this way, I can’t even begin to imagine the pain of the other families… Nor the pain of the men and women who are losing their friends there in combat and even though they are there, can only do so much…

So, I guess, all this, for me, all these years that I’ve been living in my own little world, aware, but not educated, not informed… I have a new found respect for our military, for our veterans and for those we have lost… My heart goes out to those families… As far as I’m concerned, this line for me starts here… As I become informed and no longer ignorant, I will continue to inform, I will continue passing on the memory of these brave men and women and everything they have sacrificed for our country.

They deserve to be remembered… I hope if nothing else, this will open new eyes for others…

I’ve always known the sacrifices that these men and women make, themselves, their families and friends… I’ve watched the army wife struggle with her husband being deployed and the joy of him coming home safely… It’s not only a sacrifice on the person making the decision to join, but their family and friends also make that sacrifice as well… Especially if they are encouraging and supporting the person joining.

As an outsider, it’s rough… It’s time to reach out to those we can affect…

God Bless,

Jessica

(If any of my information is wrong, I apologize and please feel free to kindly correct me or add on. I am still learning myself and am more than willing to accept information. Thank you!)

(I’m also half asleep too… I didn’t think this was going to take me 3 hours to write up trying to make sure I had the right numbers and whatnot… It’s 2:45 a.m… So again, apologies if it seems a jumbled mess…)

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