One of the greatest gifts a person can give to another is to remember the other. We don't want others to remember everything we've said and done (we don't even want to remember about ourselves everything we've said and done), but we do want to be seen, and known, and not forgotten. And, we want that for others we love.
Each year when we have our All Saints Service, I read through the list of that year's departed members and remember something about each one I knew, something indicative of who they were as individuals. As time passes, those I didn't know as well get reduced (in my memories) to the most indicative characteristics and the most memorable stories about them. We'd do well to consider what people might remember about us one day and whether or not that's how we'd want to be remembered.
Today, our national Memorial Day, certain individuals may be on our minds - parents, spouses, and children who served in our national defense and died doing so or have since died. We also take time to reflect on those we didn't know. We don't know their individual stories, but just a moment's reflection reminds us that they sacrificed. For some, the sacrifice was simply leaving comfort and familiarity and family and friends for what their work required of them and in places and situations that were unfamiliar, which is frightening enough. For too many, it was serving in the midst of great danger, never far from the potential of harm or being called upon to harm. For each of them, there were people "back home" who wondered every day they were away what they up to and if they'd return to them. They deserve to be remembered for their sacrifices. Let's take time to do so this Memorial Day.