What Memorial Day Means to Me

What Memorial Day means to me? For years, Memorial Day weekend meant an extra day off work, a day to go fishing or grill out with the family, or even a chance to save a few dollars on a new couch.

Well, that’s what Memorial Day was about, until the summer of 2010. In the years to follow, Memorial Day was totally different. It went from a fun, long weekend to a time of mourning, a time to honor and pay tribute to every soldier that has fought for our country and lost their life.

On June 9, 2010, my little brother was killed in Afghanistan on a mission to rescue NATO soldiers. The British Royal Marines had been wounded and were still under hostile fire. His helicopter came under fire and was shot down. My brother – Senior Airman Benjamin White, USAF Pararescueman – was killed upon impact with the ground. He, along with four other airmen, lost their lives as a result of the crash.

I got to have 24 great, naive Memorial Day weekends. Now, this weekend, Memorial Day weekend, I remember the family members that aren’t at our barbecues or our family dinners. I honor all the soldiers that have given their lives fighting for our freedom. Those who made the¬†ultimate sacrifice. I pay honor to my little brother.¬†This will be the tenth Memorial Day without him.

But we have a hope. A hope in Christ. Ben shared that hope. He loved Jesus and, oddly enough, had John 15:13 tattooed on his back under a large Celtic cross. Not just the scripture reference, but the entire verse. “Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down his for his friends.”

Mark White