In Gloucester Massachusetts, at the edge of the water stands a family in bronze, the children clutching at the mother’s skirts as they all look out to sea. They stand vigil, waiting for the return of the fishing fleet and the crews who don’t always come back. That statue reminds us that there is a cost to those of us left at home, especially when we are left to wait forever on the water’s edge.
No similar statues stand at the gates of the military bases but those who grew up in the families of service members know that same aching uncertainty and fear for absent loved ones in peril. Since the close of WWII, more than 87,000 families have faced the news that their soldier is not coming home. The military designates them as “Gold Star Families”.
A respectfully folded flag in a box on the bookshelf will never replace the soldier who accepted that some things in this world are more important than a steady job and a house with a picket fence.
This and every day, thank those who have put on a uniform and stood in harms’ way. If at no other time, on Memorial Day spend time thinking about the sacrifice of those who didn’t come home.
And please make a special effort to reach out to the members of the Gold Star families and let them know that they, too, have not been forgotten.