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Memorial Day should be every day

 


This Monday, when you’re driving back from camping, a mini vacation or just drinking an iced tea after doing yard work, take time to reflect on what Memorial Day is. What it is not is an extra day off on Monday. Although that is nice, it is not the point.

It is a day to remember our ancestors, those from our past who have created a foundation of who we are, as individuals and as a community. When I think of community and the names from our past that have done great things to secure our futures, I think of names like Gary Reit, Ray Halsey and Rod Hartman, three men who had great aspirations for our area and did great things to pave the way for future generations. All were community-minded and balanced with a business/government sense of responsibility. They set the tone for how a community should come together and strive for a better way to do things.

I also think of my family. My grandparents and my wife’s father left a great foundation too. Grandpa Nessly raised some of his kids in the area and helped grow the Nazarene Church. He worked at the sawmill, but his faith in God still resonates in the building he took his family to every Sunday. My Grandpa Utz was a “powder monkey” at the dam and then went on to be the area manager for delivery of the Wenatchee World newspaper. He made connections with the people of the area as he delivered them their daily news. Karrie’s Dad, Terry Sieker, helped set the tone of how a volunteer should act. Known in the department as “Captain Fire,” his passion for helping others, still to this day, encourages a younger generation to strive for greatness in whatever they do.

I also remember the veterans in my family, Uncle Ed and both grandpas mentioned above. And even though my uncles are still alive, I can’t help but think of their fellow soldiers whom they fought next to in Vietnam who did not come home. They left a lasting impression on my uncles’ lives and on others, I am sure.

Then there are the family gravestones in different parts of the world. Some I have visited, others I have not — grandparents, uncles, aunts and friends, all who passed and left a permanent place in my life to be remembered, not just today but every day.

Not only do I remember the military folks who lost their lives for my freedom, but I think of law enforcement officers who gave everything in the line of duty. I think of firefighters and medics who ran in when others ran out, leaving a gap in their families’ lives when they were trying to save someone else’s family member. I remember 9/11.

I also can’t help but think of the one person who sacrificed His life to save the world. He was pierced for me, hung on a cross for you and rose again for us all. We were not there but he saw our faces clearly.

A memory of great men and women should not be left to just one day; they should be remembered all days and are by most. But I cannot help but wonder — if we remembered the sacrifices continuously, would this world not be in the turmoil we now suffer. If we remembered the blood, sweat and tears that built this nation, remembered the words that are etched in our founding documents, remembered the ultimate sacrifices made on the battle fields, in the streets and on a cross, we would be in a much better place today as a whole.

Remember, and live a life worth remembering.

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