Panama City Beach has been a good place to be this Memorial Day Weekend. Sand and sun worship. Family and friends. I am excited to be on this beautiful shoreline. And I’m thinking about a day for remembering those who’ve died serving in the US’ military. Is it inconsistent to strip down to sun-kissed skin and drink to the day?
I respect people, like my niece, who serve to defend our country. I have people close to me whose bodies are in the ground or ashes spread in sacred places. I know someone fortunate enough to defy death with a bravery with which I hope we can all rage against that night.
I believe we make a promise, intentional or by nature. That is to take advantage of every moment we’re lucky enough to get. Today we remember that people have put their lives on the line to ensure we get those moments.
I sit on the beach looking at a shadow of a sea turtle moving between bodies, unaware on the sandbar. They focus more passing a football or pushing their kid on a boogie board. Adolescents leap over waves and dive beneath them for ocean treasures. Young adults and teens flirt with sexual maturity. All the while that shark or sea turtle, that present embodiment of millions of years in time, passes us by.
For me, a fitting memorial is to take in the most we can from this moment. Surround yourself with the young who carry life forward, and by elders who have handed life to us. My prayer for them, for us, and for our children is that they’ve seized this life with both hands.