One listing the months of the year and the calendar events regularly associated with the month of May would most likely select "Mother's Day" as the event of prominence for that month. Following a close second would be Memorial Day, or as some use to call it "Decoration Day." It seems that in later years this seems to follow a military theme, but that was not always so. While growing up, there was a young friend who lost both parents in a drowning. Every "Decoration Day" her uncle and aunt would take her to their gravesites in Alabama to clean their lot and place flowers thereon. The one is a day everyone can personally relate to in some way in that EVERYONE has a mother, while the other is somewhat more abstract although it is more encompassing.
Many accolades are extended to mothers, as should be and to fathers as well, however the latter is next month's day of recognition. Mothers, dead and alive, are commended for their sacrificial living and giving.
There is a little story this writer heard of when in elementary school about a hen. Yes, a hen! It seems this hen had a brood of little chicks. One sad day, fire swept through the barnyard razing all in its path. Later, after the fire was doused, the farmer walked through the area surveying the destruction. He came upon a blackened and charred mass. With his foot he flipped the object over and out ran several cheeping little chicks, unharmed. The mother hen became a fortress or a haven for her babies when the need arose. She did not survive but her offspring did.
Mothers, both old and young, dead or alive are praised this one special day of the year. In this day of modern conveniences and shortcuts, it is hard to imagine what it was like for mothers of days gone by. For instance, Grandmother use to wash clothes in a tub with a scrub board outside with water heated on a wood stove. She used lye soap she made herself. She then starched and ironed the clothes using a heavy cast iron heated also on the wood stove. In those days, the main use of electricity was for lighting except for an occasional radio here and there. As said before, it's hard to imagine. Wow!
As in my grandmother's day, it was a rarity indeed, for a mother to work outside the home. In those days, while grandmother was working in the home, grandfather worked outside in the literal sense, in the field. No wonder children grew up respecting their parents with a fervor. Parents had sacrificial pride in their children and although the family may not have been as affluent, yet there was a quality of self-respect and strength that emitted from the stalwart examples set before them.
Pride is not always a negative thing, as was discussed recently in a Sunday School class, only when it becomes obsessive. One can take pride in their appearance, actions, work, school, country, etc.; and not be at fault. By observation, one can almost wonder today if some have any pride at all.
A revival of pride seems to have risen in the last couple of years in regards to our country, America. The industries, which produces flags were totally caught off-guard when the 9-11 catastrophe took place. Suddenly, EVERYONE wanted flags. Placards started appearing everywhere stating, "God Bless America," or "United We Stand"; to name only a couple. Patriotism was at an all-time high. Something positive arose out of the chaos and destruction wrought by some misguided zealots.
The events of that dreadful day have brought us to the events of today. Our country is at war with Iraq and issues such as, germ warfare and "terrorist alerts" was rare or unheard of.
And, as in the sixties, some "anti-war" movements have arisen. These who so vehemently oppose war fail to realize that if someone had not had the courage to fight decades ago, they would not be enjoying the lifestyle that they do now. They would not have the freedom to speak their minds without fear of imprisonment or death. They would not have any choices at all about anything, those decisions would be decreed for them.
Sometimes, commentators get so involved in picking things apart, analyzing an issue to the point that it becomes so muddled and distorted that it leaves one not knowing what or who to believe. Not wanting to go into a lot of discussion on the matter, but a few points need to be made. (1) We, our country, did not start this confrontation; (2) With every action there is a reaction; (3) We cannot sit idly by while some deranged cult threatens the world with mass destruction; (4) Regretfully, at times such as this, war is a necessary evil; (5) As nearly as possible, the element of contention needs to be dealt with thoroughly.
No one with any sense at all, wants to go to war because war is ugly. The loss of one life is one life too many. During the last month, several of our young men and women lost theirs on foreign soils. IF, we had cleaned up the mess years ago, when George Bush, Sr., was in office; perhaps we would not have need to be over there now. Or, perhaps we may; there's always a bully on the playground it seems. The thirst for power seems to be unquenchable. This thirst has been surfacing throughout the annals of history. For example; in early Bible days, the nation of Israel had to fight off the Philistines and Moabites among others. The Roman empire nearly conquered the world but lost it all because they let down their guard. Then there was Stalin and Hitler; and the Japanese and Chinese. Do these anti-war protesters want to live under regimes such as these? I think not!
As in World War I and II; we did not start this fight, but it's ours to finish. If we want to keep our freedom, we have no choice but to defend it. DEFEND IT OR LOSE IT!
The lives of those who died in the past World Wars are no less significant than those lost today. They paid the supreme sacrifice also. They believed in God, family, country and the generations who would come after them.
So, as this Mother's Day and Memorial Day comes and goes; let us give those who gave so much the regard due them. Let not their love for family and country go in vain.