Contemplating the Universe: Memorial Day

I am a huge Avenger fan. In fact, I’ve loved all the individual movies leading up to The Avengers. I’m fascinated with each characters passion of protecting America and it’s inhabitants. I like to think we’re still one nation under God with the tagline, “whether you believe it or see it.” One of my favorite lines comes from Captain America.

 “There’s only one God, ma’am, and

I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.” 

At one point Captain Rogers asks if super heroes are a bit old fashioned. The response is that sometimes we need a little bit of old fashion. With all the political hype of who hasn’t inhaled and who insists on inhaling, and who’s screwing who, and who’s making things up left and right, I’m still insanely proud of the country I live in. We can know about everybody’s crap because of all the freedoms we have here.

Tonight I’m sitting on the patio contemplating the universe. I can hear my neighbors celebrating Memorial Day. There’s a few fireworks going off. I can hear oldies music playing across the way. Every once in a while the breeze picks up people’s voices laughing and talking.

No one is hiding from missiles. No one is tip-toeing through their yards to avoid unexploded mines. Everyone it sitting back with full bellies. Everyone is choosing how they will or will not recognize today.

I’m thinking about the old fashioned heroes in my life. I think of one of my very best friend’s Trish Carothers serving at this very moment in the Navy stationed in Africa. I think of the sidearm and the rifle she is trained to use. I think of her family who she has left behind to take care of American business far away from home. I think of the 20 years she has done this over and over again. I think of her husband Jason who volunteered for Afganistan a couple of years ago. Left his kids to protect our freedoms and the freedoms of others in a very dangerous part of the world. I think how I would never be willing to do that. How even now, I do not understand some of my very dear friends drive for service.

I think of my brother, Andy Rhoads, serving in the Navy as well. I think of my dad, Ken Rhoads in the National Guard. I think of my father in law, Bob Figgins and uncle, Michael Andrews serving in Vietnam. It’s just what you did. You reached a certain age and you signed up to help your country.

I think of my grandfather, Price Rhoads,  serving in Germany in World War II and my great grand father Warren Hubbard, serving in World War I. There were no regrets. There was sadness for lost friends and lost youth. But there was never any mention of regrets for serving our country.

I simply cannot imagine sending my children off to fight in wars. I can’t imagine how I would get through each day not knowing if they were safe. But I would be so proud for them to continue this history of ultimate service and sacrifice for the ideal of freedom.

Who do you have to be thankful for the freedom you are experiencing this very moment? Who should we be aware of on this Memorial Day?

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