Lift Your Torch High and Live in This Moment


When I think of Memorial Day, I think of the stories of the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Who were they?  What did they believe?  Who did they love?  What was the flower that tickled their noses?  What was the cologne or perfume worn by their sweethearts?

Did they prefer to eat chicken or beef?  Sunrise or sunset?  Favorite season?  Mountains or beach?  Could they snow ski?  Were they afraid of heights?

When we’re asked to honor the memory of those who died for our country, how do we do that?

Imagine a conversation

So many questions to ask our brave soldiers, if I could.  The conversation would of course begin with a thank you for their dedicated service, by telling them that there aren’t enough thanks yous.

No price tag is large enough and no parade is long enough.

Then, as I reach through the velvet curtain that separates the living from the dead, I shake hands with the folks who have agreed to chat with me “from the other side.”

After they answer my basic questions with answers like carnations, Old Spice, definitely beef–oh how I miss a good steak and sunrises during PT, we get down to business:

How can we best commemorate your sacrifices during military service to the USA?

Here’s what I imagine some would say:

Remember one by remembering all.  It’s not so hard to do.  We’ll watch your picnics and potlucks from our heavenly perches and it would please us to see you pause, maybe bow your heads, and touch a moment of silence with your hearts.

We ask that you lay down the pettiness of political fighting, lay it down next to your beliefs about war and violence.  Just lay it all down.

Then, with nothing weighing heavy on you, let your heart fill with love and gratitude for living this moment, this day, in a country where freedom is still cherished, where soldiers are revered and remembered.

You would honor us by remembering to honor yourselves and by respecting others.  There is far too much fighting among you and that’s a war that can only be won with surrender.  

Allow others the right to be who they are, regardless of who they love, where they live or how many trinkets they own.  Keep your business your business.  You don’t need to pick up anybody else’s.

Be good to each other.  Be kind and considerate.  You wouldn’t believe the stuff we see!  

Just love each other!  Let that be your code of peace.  Wear love as a cloak of honor and live like there’s no tomorrow.  

Do everything you can to make each day you live as special as a birthday, because it is, you know.

Yes, those are the ways you can truly honor us.  

When we died, we left you with a torch of responsibility for the country we love. Keep the torch lit. @bheretoday (Click to Tweet!)

We’ll be watching for the light . . . 

Photo courtesy of Schick

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