Respects

American Flag
See this flag?

It’s not as old as some of the other flags in the world. Like all the other flags, it’s loved by some, hated by others, ignored by the rest.

It’s my flag, though, and like all the others that denote nationalities, it is a part of the uniform of the military under it.

Memorial Day is coming up, and like I often do, I want to pay my respects to those in the service.

Wikipedia describes it as “Memorial Day or Decoration Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.” It’s observed every year on the last Monday of May.

As those who follow me know, I didn’t serve in the military. I wasn’t able to go in, and the closest I ever got was Army JROTC in high school. Still, I am very aware of the sacrifices made in my stead.

There’s a monument in my hometown that lists the people from there who have died while serving, just as the description says a little earlier. It’s not a stupendous thing, since it’s a ‘small town’ and there’s not as many names to put on it. That’s not to say that there hasn’t been a lot of people to have served, because that’s not true.

One of the names on that list is someone that attended high school with me. Come to think of it, he may have been in one of my JROTC classes with me but frankly I can’t remember for sure. It’s been a looong time since then, but I do remember talking with him. As I recall now, his death came from the Khobar Towers bombing as a part of Hezbollah activities. Joseph Rimkus, I think of you wherever you may be and I thank you for making that decision to raise your right hand to swear your oath.

It’s not just him. It’s other service members, too. The US Flag has changed over time, its configuration modified as States entered the Union and the stripes changing in number. It is still the Flag we as schoolkids pledged allegiance to, generation by generation by generation.

As far as generations go, I’m thinking of all of them. From the Revolutionary War on down, there have been those that have given their lives for this country. I bow my head in respect for them, and my writer’s imagination can see the specters as they gather. In battlefields, in national cemeteries, on the seas, in the air, and in space. The specters observe the changes in our country, the changes in uniform from the newer ones to stand silent watch and the changes in the military from the beginning of the Republic to now.

Thank you, and I will not forget.

Red Poppies

Steele Writing Enterprises will be observing Memorial Day. The plugin I used to darken the website was removed, so I may have to do it manually.