May 29, 2011

Memory Lane Monday - Memorial Day Gratitude...

It was 1979. My brother was in the Navy, stationed on the aircraft carrier, USS Nimitz. The ship was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea. Tensions had increased over Iran's taking of fifty two American hostages. Four months later, Operation "Evening Light" was launched in an effort to rescue the hostages. The rescue was aborted when too many helicopters were lost in the desert to safely transport hostages and military personnel out of the region.

In 1979, my brother would have been twenty years old. He worked as a member of the "crash crew" (firemen) on the deck of the immense carrier. A long way from home, in the middle of a heroic effort in a strange place, he must have feared for his life as much as the helicopter pilots that he would help welcome back to the ship. He also mourned the lives of fellow crew members who would not return to port. All his family back here prayed for his safety and confirmation that he was alright.

There were other moments during his tenure on the ship that caused all of us to worry, including a time when some of the aircraft exploded on the deck and lives were lost. We knew he would be right in the middle of all the chaos, and prayed for word from the Navy that he was safe. We were one of the lucky families. Others would never return home to theirs. They made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.

When we were children, Memorial Day was always the beginning of summer, picnics, swimming, camp and cookouts. My mum always took us downtown to watch the parades, too. We loved the marching bands and Shriners on their motorcycles, but I never fully appreciated the men and women in uniform until after my brother served. Of course, I studied history in school, but never really grasped the impact of the stories of war; families affected; lives spent - until my brother proudly wore the uniform of the United States Navy.

Today, I'd like to ask that you pause to consider the bravery, commitment and strength of all of those people who have fought to preserve our way of life in the United States. Pray for the families who never got to hold their loved ones again. Bow your head and take a moment to thank them all. Their sacrifices made it possible for all of us to live in freedom in the best country in the world.

Thank you, brother, for your service - along with so many others that I could name - and so many more unknown to me.

God Bless all of them - and God Bless America.

Thanks for joining me for Memory Lane Monday. You can join the party by linking up between today and June 6th. I look forward to reading your stories, too - whether they're sweet family memories or related to Memorial Days past. After you've posted your story on your blog, just come back and link up below.

12 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Sarah said...

Beautiful tribute to those who bravely server our country. Thank you, Donna. ~ Sarah

Marilou of Lulu's Lovlies and Heartful Creations said...

Happy Memorial Day and what a beautiful and touching post! Thank you for sharing! Hugs and Blessings Marilou

Tina Eudora said...

Wonderful post Donna! And from the bottom of my heart please tell your brother thank you from me.
Tina xo

Jan M said...

Today, and every day, I am so grateful for your brother and others who protect and defend our country. My father was a veteran, and Memorial Day was always a day of deep and humble respect.
God bless America and all our brave men and women, and their families!

Carol said...

Sad memories of war events from the past and present.

My husband was at the DMZ in Korea when North Korea took the Pueblo.

As a very young teen and adult the Vietnam Era and MIA are held close to my heart since a knew a few soldiers personally that lost their lives there.
xx, Carol

Marydon said...

My son was on the USS Nimitz in the very early 1980s.

Beautiful write, Donna. TY for his service, & to all those who have gone before /continue to fight for our freedoms.


Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Donna thank you for sharing this with us today. I am so thankful that your brother came home safely and yes I will say a pray for all of our Service Men and Women.
I am sick today but hopefully I can join in your Memory Lane Monday later today
Love ya

Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

What a beautiful post Donna... I am So Happy your brother was a lucky one. I remember too well the lottery to send our brothers and friends and loved ones away to war. It was not a good time. The tragedy touched SO MANY. One of my best friends lost her brother and two family members were hurt in ways to change their lives forever. I pray every day for World Peace so that we could all live in harmony the way God intended life to be. Thank you for sharing with us Donna.
Big Hugs to you,

Createology said...

This is a lovely tribute to not only your brother who served our Country but for all those who are and have served this nation. Thank you all for our freedom. I have so much respect for service men and women. My wish for us all throughout the world is that there would never be war. Thank you Donna...

Prince said...

Thanks Donna. I was fortunate. I pray for the families that left someone far away without saying goodbye. God has Blessed me richly, and to Him I give all the thanks and to His name all the Glory.

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

What a beautiful tribute to your beloved brother and all who have sacrificed for our Freedom! Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Michelle May (Shell) said...

A very happy Memorial Day indeed. We are so blessed to live in this beautiful country.


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