Memorial Day by Frank Rivas, MD Huntington, WV
It is a most special day where laughter and tears become intertwined. For some it is a day to share the companionship of family and friends and enjoy traditional cookouts. For others, it is a day of reflection when families of Veterans who died for a free America carry flowers and prayers to the graveyards of their departed ones. For some others, it is a day filled with the anguish of not being able to visit the graveyards of their family’s War Heroes, not finding a resolution to the most painful reality of those hopeless words: Missing In Action. The sacrifice of our Veteran War Heroes can only be matched by the spirit of patriotism held by their families. Every Memorial Day, I go through the experience of remembering the words I have heard in my medical office by families of military veterans. “Knocks on the door and rings of the phone became dreaded signs of a possible announcement regarding the death of my husband.”“The day of my wedding, I did not have a father to walk me down the aisle to the altar.”“When we sat at our Thanksgiving table, Dad’s chair remained empty.”Military research has shown that the number of casualties of war, including long-term disabilities and death, can be reduced by preventing that our soldiers be outnumbered as well as by having sufficient state-of-the-art planes, ships, submarines, tanks, and hand weapons. We Americans have the patriotic duty to ask our Representatives in Congress to make it a priority in every fiscal year budget to ensure adequate funds for our Armed Forces to carry their noble mission of protecting America, the lighthouse of hope and freedom for the whole world. On Memorial Day let us pause and take a moment of silence to reflect on these words that are full of truth: “Greater love has none than this: To lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15) God Bless America, the memory of our Heroes and their families and our Armed Forces.