Several years ago, a friend of ours was serving in Iraq over Valentine's Day. I wanted to send something to him and to his troops, and thought cards would be a great idea. I was able to get first names from him and had my daughter's kindergarten class write individualized cards to each one of them. The kids loved writing, drawing pictures, and telling these people they were their heroes. I sent them off with some goodies, hoping to brighten the day for the troops.
Our friend started to hand them out to each person, receiving polite smiles as they took their card created with kindergarten hands. Soon they realized they were not called out by name to make sure each person received a card. They were called by name because the card was specifically meant for them.
The polite smiles turned to tears and moments of silent thought and reflection, smiles of joy and stunned silence at the love and pride coming through each card.
Generic praise and encouragement are one thing, but this was personal. This had their name on it, and it was meant for each one of them.
This Memorial Day, we remember those who have given their lives in service to our country, in service to us. It's a time of grief, gratitude, and prayer. They may not have known our name, but could we maybe find someone today and remember theirs? It would be a fitting tribute.