Memorial weekend a few years back, I was having kind of a melancholy morning as I walked my dog through the neighborhood, until I saw an older gentleman sticking a little American flag in the ground at the entrance of a senior center. I stopped and chatted with Ted, a veteran of the Korean War. I told him my father was a WWII fighter pilot, and he shared that his dad was in both WWI and WWII, and his grandfathers were both in the Civil War. What an amazing legacy, I said. When I told him I had an uncle who had been a POW in Korea, he handed me a card with a man’s name inside…a POW whose body was never recovered.

I thanked Ted for his service to our country and for the pleasant chat, and continued on my walk. Just as I was nearing my house, a car pulled up beside me. It was Ted. He rolled down the passenger window, leaned over and smiled and handed me a little black flag that said, “POW – Gone But Not Forgotten.” I was so touched, and also a little ashamed because I realized that, in truth, I often do forget.

So today, I’d like to recognize¬†CPL Robert S. (Floogie) Manier, a Nashville native, who died in a Korean prison in 1951. He was the son of an attorney with a life ahead full of promise, love, and all the good things every life should have.

It’s Memorial weekend once again. Many of us are on beaches or lakes, gathered for cookouts with family and friends, and generally living it up before Tuesday rolls around and we’re all back to our normal grinds. I want to encourage everyone to take a moment today to recognize those who fought and sacrificed so that we could enjoy yet another holiday, and remember loved ones who blessed our lives before leaving this earth.

It wasn’t too long ago that “broadcasting” was something only news people could do. It’s a new world. We all send out so much nonsense on social forums that virtually reaches millions. We call attention to horrible diseases…as we should…post the news feeds of political know-it-alls and celebrity wanna-be’s, share silly jokes and reconnect with friends from the past. Nothing wrong with any of that.

But, how about we change it up a bit this weekend with a healthy dose of sincere gratitude through a moment of silence, a prayerful thought or memory of a loved one.

And, let’s recognize the heroes of yesterday to make them real in our world today so that they truly are never forgotten.

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