What Does Memorial Day Mean To Me?

by | Apr 18, 2023

Memorial Day means so much more to me these days at the prime age of 76 than anytime in my life.  Since researching and writing my book in 2011, awareness of the lifelong suffering of severe trauma and PTSD has increased exponentially. We know so much more in 2023 than ever before about combat trauma and the symptoms of PTSD.

The breakthrough in trauma awareness makes all of us feel far more compassion and empathy for those who suffer silently. I think now of my parents without feelings of anger, resentment and fear. Forgiveness heals the soul, love heals the heart.

Healing is knowing it is not what was wrong with them, it is what happened to loved ones injured in wars, including 1st Responders who serve, too.

Honoring my father’s WWII and Korean War US Navy service to America is a blessing to me. In these later years, I think of my father with love and a healthy perspective.

Dad was a warrior, dedicated to serving his country, with honor and pride.  My mother served America, as well. She endured much during her life as a military spouse and mom. She suffered from PTSD all of her life as a child growing up during the Depression, and as a Navy wife.

I appreciate and honor veterans of all wars deeply. The best part of my quality of life these days is feeling a peace of mind never experienced before now. I spend my days thinking about making a difference for others, especially veterans of all wars and the families who served.

The best way to help others is to start the journey of healing yourself when affected from a traumatic experience.  The personal healing is then fueled by making a difference for others. I believe awareness is the first step to healing from the invisible wounds of war and other serious trauma

This is our time of the year to remember all the heroes in your life who are no longer with us. Happy Memorial Day weekend!

USS Bellegrove LSD2 WWII Pacific

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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