My Memorial Day Weekend Reflections and Takeaways…by Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

by | May 29, 2013


Joshua Jesse Howard Lindner
Los Angeles, Ca.

#1 Pick…Poetry by my dear friend Joshua Jesse Howard Lindner…  Josh got up on Memorial Day morning and sat down and wrote the following prose from his heart.  Josh is a young man in his mid 20’s who is inspired by the dedicated service of 1st responders, soldiers, and loves America…  He has known personal challenges, including the loss of his brother.  Josh is a poet, lyricist, and musician.  He is a highly respected close family friend who cares deeply about making a difference for the greater good…
Let’s talk about today…
Today I didn’t have to get up early,
I don’t have to work,
I don’t have to break a sweat,
I don’t have to get my hands dirty,
I don’t have to worry about whether or not I’ll have something to eat,
I don’t have to march 18 miles,
I don’t have to worry about improvised explosive devices,
I don’t have to hear the “snap” a 7.62 mm round makes as it breaks the sound barrier passing my head,
I don’t have to say goodbye to a friend,
I don’t have to lose a brother,
I don’t have to miss my home,
I don’t have to save a life,
and I don’t have to give mine.
Today, I am an American.
My liberties are intact,
My family is intact,
And my country is intact.
All of this, because of you.
I could never repay you,
Thank you.

#2 Pick…Prior to seeing the above photo, I had no clue as to profound cost of war in Theater since America was born…  The statistics do not even begin to capture the legacy of war that lives on for generations in life after war.  The statistics do not reflect the loved ones, spouses, family members, and care givers who serve too.  It becomes clear once understanding how war deeply affects our social fabric, including those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, that America can never forget nor ever do enough to repay the debt we owe to veterans of all wars… and the families who serve too…

#3 Pick…Meaning of Memorial Day… Click on this heartwarming video clip…

“In this undated image released Thursday May 23, 2013, by the British Ministry of Defence, showing Lee Rigby known as ‘Riggers’ to his friends, who is identified by the MOD as the serving member of the armed forces who was attacked and killed by two men in the Woolwich area of London on Wednesday. (AP Photo / MOD)”
My friends and followers from the UK who read this blog are very troubled and saddened by this shocking and gruesome event shown around the world right after it happened.  It appeared that the terrorist who was shot and captured wanted the interview on video for all to see.   It reminds us all that the fight against terrorism continues all over the globe and our brothers and sisters in the UK need our support and compassion… 

This has been a Memorial Day weekend of deep reflection for me like no other…   My four picks or takeaways above tugged at my heart and represent the profound meaning of Memorial Day and the legacy of war…  Josh showed me that Americans, no matter what age, get up on Memorial Day and reflect on this day.  And for some like Josh, write down their thoughts for themselves and for others to read.   The casualties of war since the Revolutionary War shown in the 2nd pick above gives me great pause.  Those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in direct combat and the families who lost loved ones is unimaginable without seeing the statistics.  The heartwarming but sad video from shows how important it is for veterans to talk about and show our children very early the sacrifices of war.  Our children carry forward the legacy of war, including honor and duty to keep America free.  Finally, with my #4 pick vigilance is so critical in everyday life to help protect our neighbors from the rare attack at home even though we feel so much safer these days.  It is also a stark reminder that the challenge of terrorism is worldwide and we need to stand by our global partners to help keep us all safe.  We all know this is the “new normal.”
Steve Sparks
(click to order my book or download Kindle version)


About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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