Memorial Day Musings

It’s early Memorial Day morning.

The sun is up, birds are singing in the trees, the wind is calm. Not many are moving around so it’s quiet in the little town of Genesee Depot, no one is up yet at our house, so it’s nice and quiet.

And I’m thinking about our country. Thankful for the privileges we enjoy here in the United States, some of our privileges we dare to call rights. I wonder if we considered everything we enjoy privileges instead of rights, would it increase our sense of gratitude? Years ago when motorcycles and I were new friends, a close colleague and childhood friend told me “Ride as though you have no rights, ride as though no one on the road sees you yet and you’ll do fine.” It was good advice for me as a novice and I’m thinking today:

If we lived as though the good things in life were privileges instead of rights,

We’d be a happier, more thankful nation.


Men and women before us sacrificed dearly first to earn and then to protect the freedoms we currently enjoy. Thank you servicemen and women!

They are today. Thank you! While we cook out and play lawn games, watch the kids play and smile that we don’t have to go in to work today, you are protecting us. Thank you!

I’m thinking about our perspective on violence – as a nation and as a culture. We’re too used to it; have grown accustomed to it. We’ve desensitized ourselves. Gunshots and explosions in our home theaters and surround-sound family rooms are “cool”. Crime dramas, action movies, video games, the nightly news, etcetera have dimmed our senses over time, and our consciences have developed calluses. It enables us to move through life unscathed and unaffected for the most part, but when death visits close to home we also wonder why people don’t care more – or longer.

I wonder today if we’d live differently if we viewed life as a privilege; a valued commodity worth protecting at any cost – but not something we’re entitled to. Would we be a more grateful, more sensitive people? I think so.

I’ll not bore you with the rest of what I’m thinking, you get the idea; but I am going to focus on this central thought today.

Life is a gift.
A lot of people gave their lives to protect what we enjoy in this country today
and I, for one, am thankful.


I’m going to enjoy my family and relax along with everybody else today, keeping gratitude in my peripheral vision all day long. Maybe you’d like to do the same. There’s plenty of gratitude to go around, I think. A lot of people aren’t using theirs.

One Reply to “Memorial Day Musings”

  1. Jonell


    Yes, I’m taking Memorial Day in a new light this year. You see, a friend of ours from GRSBM (age 44) is in the Army and currently doing a one year duty in Iraq. And a friend from church (age 32 w/ a wife and two small boys at home) is in the Army too and has been given notice that he will be headed to Iraq sometime in December. These two deployments will bring the war home to me. I have uncles and cousins who served in the military, and I’m grateful for their sacrifice!

    God is good! Thanks Phil for this reminder!


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