“As Memorial Day approaches, I look back on the past. I reflect on those that we lost over the years, and I grow silent. Many see Memorial Day as a celebration because of a three-day weekend and it’s more time to either spend with family and friends or to even take a short vacation to the beach, to the mountains or wherever you want to stop and take a minute for yourself and those you love. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more time to be with family and wanting to celebrate and have long lasting memories to share with them. Life truly deserves to be celebrated.
Memorial Day in truth is not a celebration but a time to remember. Remember all the United States’ service members who laid down their lives in service to our country. It’s a time to think about those that made the ultimate sacrifice for you and me and all that claim freedom. Think about them and the families that lost a family member. It’s a time to be thankful. Thankful for all who not only served and fought for our country but died for a brother or sister in arms. They died for you and me. They died for a complete stranger. They died for our country. They died for freedom.”
“I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.” – Abraham Lincoln
“When I look back thinking about those that sacrificed, I also look back at my time in the U. S. Army and the bonds that my wife, Kay, and I made along with the many struggles we went through. My time in the military was only four years, but in that amount of time, it impacted me so much that I still hold the memories deep within my soul. I can truly say the same thing about the time that I was at Big Oak Ranch. I was there for about two and a half years, yet I feel in my heart and soul the impact that had in me. I think about the sacrifice of many to help those that are struggling with many different problems. One major way that helped me was the unconditional love. I didn’t truly understand it at the time because I had never truly seen it from another human being before. What I was used to was a false love that was based on how I acted or what I could do. My time at the Ranch will forever remain in my heart as a beginning. A beginning of a journey that continues to this day.
It’s also a time that I reflect and remember the sacrifice of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and God, the Father. True Love was given to the world when Jesus laid down His life for you and me to have abundant life. A sacrifice that I am forever grateful for. Deep within my soul.
Love is at the heart of it all. The love of yourself, a friend, a neighbor, a family member and even the love you may show a complete stranger. Love and sacrifice go hand in hand.
This Memorial Day, I hope everyone enjoys their time with family and friends, but I also hope that everyone takes a moment and remember the fallen. Remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. – John 15:13 NKJV
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. – John 3:16 NKJV
About the Author: SPC Terry Collier, USA, Disabled Veteran served on the Gadsden Patriots Association for more than 10 years, serving on the administrative board and assisting with many projects across Etowah County. He has been involved in bringing the Vietnam Moving Wall to Gadsden and updating The Armed Forces Memorial displays located at Noccalula Falls. In Terry’s free time, he enjoys working on various art projects, a talent shared by his family as well. He and his wife offer their time and talents to Big Oak Ranch, their local community, and various other organizations.