This Memorial Day, I like many others are reminded of the price paid by many of our veterans. As I watch each of the stories, I couldn’t help but recognize the common theme of “Get up”. You might ask, what am I talking about.
Memorial day was created for those of us who were still alive to remember and appreciate the sacrifices of those before us. Most inspiring are those stories of the many men and women who were injured in battle and then gone on to overcome their disability. I would even think of the United States and the many times our ancestors have fallen under attack from devastating events, and when knocked down they got up.
When the United States would experience some devastating event like: war, financial event, earthquake, flood or tornado, the people of the United States would rally back. As I witnessed on a recent story about flooding, the owner of the destroyed house was amazed at the number of people who showed up to help her. People she did not know or where they came from. The idea of picking up the pieces and starting again is always an amazing event.
When a person or a family are injured, I am always amazed how they fight the injuries and the disabilities to go on to a better happier life. I witness the many families that come from other countries where they were almost eliminated and yet once they’re here in the United States, they find a way to prosper and have a good life.
Whether it is a country, a community, a family or a person there seems to be a common theme used by them all. As it was stated in a Batman movie; what happens when we fall down, we get up. When our nation is attacked or suffers a major loss like the attack on the twin towers in New York or the devastation of a hurricane, what do we do? We get up. We address the problem and rather than being defeated by it, we get up and start again. When our communities are ravished by floods and tornadoes that tear apart a house from its foundation or community from the map, what do we do? We get up. When a family is devastated by the loss of a family member or the destruction of all their belongings, what do we do? We get up. And when a person is suffering from a tragedy, whether it is a physical or mental tragedy, what do they do? They get up and find a way to go on.
I can remember my mother and father telling me to get up after I had fallen down and injured myself. I can remember telling my children to get up after they had fallen and injured themselves. I find myself blessed with many children and grandchildren as well as nieces and nephews. Whether it is a problem of drug addiction or abuse, I will eventually tell them to get up.
I believe that you have to get up each time you fall. Whenever it is the hand of God or fate that has handed you travesty, it does not mean that life has to stop or you have to live by being unhappy. As trite as it sounds my words to you are,” get up”. Don’t give up, don’t just accept it and don’t believe that you deserved it.
Many veterans like myself, questioned why we were spared from death why those around us were taken. Many fathers like myself, questioning why our children end up with the drug problem or a mental disability. Many men like myself had experienced cancer and heart problems. Each of us question why. As much as you might search for some sort of answer to help understand and accept such events, we probably will not find an answer.
Just get up. Take the hand or the circumstance that you had been given and go forward with life. Get up, re-evaluate, develop a plan and start again. You’ll probably find that the plan has to change as things go on. Each time you hit a bump in the road or setback, you need to get up and start again. If you have an addiction, like smoking and drinking and you have failed in your attempt to get rid of the addiction, get up. If you experience a physical problem like cancer, heart disease or the loss of a limb, get up. If you are experiencing mental problems like depression or anxiety, get up.
When you find that he had been discriminated against because of your race, color, sex, religion or age. You may find that you want to get angry and you want to fight. Do not let these actions knock you down. Get up and move forward. You cannot change your race, color, sex or age. You do not have to give up your religion or your beliefs.
What you do have to do, is to get up each time you are knocked down. Each time that you experience many of the negative events in life. You need to get up. Each Memorial Day we remember and pay homage to those who served our nation. Each year, I discover another story of a person who has overcome such incredible odds because they got up after being knocked down.
My thought for this blog today is to remind you to get up.