I’m the mother of a combat veteran, which is a situation I couldn’t have imagined ten years ago. My son came home from two tours in Iraq, safe and sound. That’s not true of some of the men with whom he served. I am beyond grateful for my son’s safe return, and just as grateful for the people I’ll never meet who had his back over there. Please, join me in prayer and gratitude for all the ones who never came home. Enjoy Memorial Day weekend – but let’s remember why it’s a holiday.
“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”
— G.K. Chesterton (h/t goodreads.com)
Chesterton has the right idea. I have much to be thankful for, even in lean times. May the same be true for you.
Anyone who follows me on Facebook sees this message from me twice a year. It bears repeating. My son went to war in the in the uniform of our country and has come home in one piece. I’m the daughter of two Army veterans. “Veteran’s Day” is not just a calendar notation to me. Nothing I’ve ever read has captured my sense of gratitude to American vets like these lines written by Ben Stein. If everything else he’s ever written is someday forgotten, this should be enough to keep his memory alive.
What title of nobility was ever as great as, simply, “American”? What wild dream of my ancestors in Czarist Russia could compare with what I have now, how I live now? Who makes it possible? The men and women who fight our wars, who have lost legs, who have lost lives, who have lost their minds to the cruelty of war. God bless them day in and day out.
[Excerpted from “Fleeting Beauty” by Ben Stein, from the February 2011 issue of The American Spectator, pages 62-64.]
From today’s National Review Online, this link will take you to a collection of brief reflections on gratitude. One writer in particular struck me. From Edward T. Mechmann:
“While our modern media tend to concentrate on the big picture, the reality is that a true Culture of Life is the product of a myriad of decisions made on the personal, individual level….Such small steps are invisible to our media culture, but plain to see for those who look in the right place. By the grace of God and the cooperation of everyday people, a Culture of Life is being built within the ruins of our age, one heart and one life at a time. That gives us great cause for thanksgiving.”