TODAY THE WORDS are TOY SOLDIERS. In honor of Memorial Day, I am reposting a Memorial Day tribute posted in 2013. How many times have you picked up a toy soldier and really gave any thought as to what it actually represents? Probably, like me, not many times have any of us visualized the representation right in our hands. A toy soldier is not very big, no more than 3 inches or less and they come in bright colors or a muted green and come with a lot of them in a bag. Boys and some girls have played with them and knocked them down “killing” them. The kids would then pick them up at the end of the battle and either start a new war or put them in the bag for a future battle. A game of pretend enemies with usually the best of friends taking sides and a lot of “bang, you are dead” was heard. Children are innocent and learn from others and many people don’t see any harm in playing war or even violent video games but now for the deeper thought…..War is real and deadly……Soldiers can’t be stood up again in the real war games and lives are taken or forever changed by injuries.
As Memorial Day is here, my mind went to the toy soldier and it felt sad as if I had a soldier in my hands and wondered if he was alive or dead. Do we as humans try as hard as we should to avoid war? Are we so wrapped up in proving a point that we do the same as precious, innocent children do when they play toy soldiers and kill without thought and reality that some one’s son; some one’s husband; some one’s daughter; some one’s wife; and some one’s brother or sister can or will be killed.
Soldiers face death on a daily basis if sent to a military zone. I can remember my brother Joe, who served two terms in Vietnam, and who retired after 21 years in the Army, when he said to me in reference to how the soldiers got booed at the airport by Americans, “Sis, a soldier doesn’t ask why, they are told where!” In other words a soldier obeys commands from a superior officer and is not in a defining position; he is in an obedient position. That tells me in order to protect us a soldier responds to an order. We should respect this demeanor and honor their willingness to serve. If there are opposing positions to a certain engagement, it should be brought to higher officials. Tomorrow, and every day, thank a soldier for our freedom which we value. Thank God for the highest protection of our life as God gives us every breath we take.
Excerpt from the following article on Memorial Day History (click on title for complete article)
The custom of honoring ancestors by cleaning cemeteries and decorating graves is an ancient and worldwide tradition, but the specific origin of Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was first known, are unclear.
In early rural America, this duty was usually performed in late summer and was an occasion for family reunions and picnics. After the Civil War, America’s need for a secular, patriotic ceremony to honor its military dead became prominent, as monuments to fallen soldiers were erected and dedicated, and ceremonies centering on the decoration of soldiers’ graves were held in towns and cities throughout the nation.
After World War I, the day expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars.
No less than 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, and states observed the holiday on different dates. In 1971, Memorial Day became a national holiday by an act of Congress; it is now celebrated on the last Monday in May.
Since it all started with the Civil War, you might want to brush up on your knowledge of this event by visiting the Library of Congress Civil War collection, which includes more than a thousand photographs.
Nearly 500,000 military personnel died during the U.S. Civil War. That’s almost half of all Americans who have ever died during wartime, and more than a hundred times more than died during the American Revolution, according to the latest estimates from the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs. This Memorial day, we decided to take a close look at the number of American servicemembers who lost their lives during wartime in an effort to put their sacrifices into a broader perspective.
This excerpt was from the linked article in 2015 and the current number would be higher. May we honor our fallen and pray this number doesn’t have to rise.