Memorial Day –
The picnic tables that held all the food were covered with red and white. We lazed about on blankets scattered around the cool grass covered yard. We drank ice cold beer, sweet tea and lemonade and devoured the watermelon, ice cream, Momma’s apple pie and fried chicken. Some of younger ones even napped in the cool shade of the trees. We caught up on lost time with family and watched the children play on the same playground equipment I knew as a kid. Across the street, an impromptu ball game started. They were soon joined by strangers from other families celebrating the day. Although in our quiet little part of the world, even strangers are family.
Earlier that day I had watched the parade pass down Main Street. I paid little attention to the elderly soldiers feebly moving along in their ancient uniforms and carrying flags from wars long gone. I was more interested in the kids chasing down the candy being tossed from vehicles whose signs I failed to read.
As the sun fell low on the horizon, and we strolled back to the car, I glance around at the serenity of the day. I realize that at least, I understood the question; even if I didn’t yet know the answer.
Could I be like those old men; willing to lay down my life to preserve this?
As I walked hand in hand with you down the tree lined street, laughter and singing drifting into the clear sky, I looked into your eyes and my heart beat out the answer.