On the Turn of a Dime - Memorial Day Reflection
But for the grace of God...
Some sixty years ago, my Dad was aboard a destroyer in the South Pacific dodging incoming kamikazes. He was told by his CO to run down the deck for the fire hose. He went immediately, reaching the hose just as a plane crashed into the deck exactly at the place where his CO and he were standing minutes before. They never found the CO's body.
In those few minutes, the lives of my Dad, his children and his children's children - ad infinitum - could have been lost forever.
The first time I realized how tenuous this life was, was the Memorial Day when I was around 10. Mom told me this story for the first time. Dad didn't talk about the war, much. But, on this day, he added details that made my young mind grasp the enormity of the situation.
Had he hesitated to obey orders, if his CO had ordered one of the other men, if the pilot had moved the throttle a hair one way or the other, I would not be memorializing my Dad on my blog.
I would not be here.
As a pacifist/teacher/mother/grandmother, I work to promote peace in our world. However, as the daughter of a Navy Petty Officer, I know that peace is something we work at; it isn't free; and it doesn't just happen. We have peace because men and women like my Dad, around the world, put their lives on the line for us every day.
As we gather around the tables, barbecues, and ball fields this Memorial Day, let us pause for a second to ponder how, on the turn of a dime, in the blink of an eye, and with a breath half-taken, our lives would not be what they are, if not for the sacrifice of life given by those who have served their country. May they rest in blessed, eternal peace.
With a heart filled with gratitude, I am a proud, sailor's daughter!