This Memorial Day take a moment. At some point on your day off today between burgers, hot dogs, and maybe even a few adult beverages, just take a moment. While it’s great that you may have time to reflect upon what you have as an individual, what we have as a country, and the sacrifices men and women have made to secure our freedoms, I challenge you to take it a step further.
We all know that Memorial Day is more than just a three day weekend kicking off summertime festivities, but do you know the individual stories that have secured this wonderful day off for us? Now I challenge you to take it one step further and do more than just reflect, please share! If you have lost a loved one who has served our armed forces, honor them by telling their story. Tell others who they were, what they did, and what a difference they made in your life. It doesn’t matter who you tell, just tell someone! Shout it from the rooftops, or just bring up a casual conversation. Are you standing next to someone while they are flipping burgers? Take your moment to tell them about someone who served.
Have you been fortunate enough to have never experienced the loss of a serviceman or woman in your family? Do you know of someone that has served? Take a movement. But this time, take a moment to listen. Ask them who they know, that has been lost. I am willing to bet they know of someone. Ask them who they were, how they affected them, and honor their memory. It may be difficult at first, but don’t just focus on their military service, focus on who they were, what they did, and how they made an impact. Just take a moment.
So here is my moment: It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Mr. George Lutz! My Grandfather served in the army during WWII. He was from New York, where he met my Grandmother shortly before entering the service. He trained in Georgia at a now long forgotten post, to work in the motor pool. His service took him across Europe where he earned a Purple Heart amongst other awards. At the end of the war, he returned to New York to raise his family and continue his service to his community. He became a member of New York’s finest as a firefighter. He continued to serve and raise two little girls with my Grandmother. Later in life his fire station was relocated to make room for the World Trade Center in downtown New York City. Upon retirement he moved to Leverett Massachusetts, where he once again served those in need as a volunteer firefighter. Throughout his life he was always kind, caring, and would give you the shirt off his back if you truly needed it. He was an inspiration as his daughters and grandkids worked to make him proud. Growing up, he was a loving grandfather that I knew would always be there for me and never disappointed. He was a great person, and a wonderful friend to many.
This was my moment. If you don’t know of anyone who was lost that served our country and aren’t familiar with anyone who may have known someone, feel free to borrow my moment. Grandpa won’t mind, I promise!