Today is Memorial Day. A day that I think very few truly understand. They look forward to it as the day that the pools open, the barbecues, the trips to the beach. They do not think of it as the day that we fall to our knees and mourn the loss of those that have so valiantly given their lives up, so that we might live.
Most people wonder why I wear a bracelet… am I diabetic, do I have a medic alert, is it a magnetic bracelet to feel better… the questions come but there is only one answer.
It is to remember and honor one American and brother in Christ that had his life taken away so quickly and without warning nearly four years ago. Captain Joshua T. Byers lost his life due to an IED exploding under his vehicle in a convoy, outside the city of Ramadi on the fateful day of July 23, 2003.
Though he was not my own flesh and blood brother, he was the best friend of my brother which made him basically kin to me. He and my brother were interchangeable. Hearing the news from my sister in law the night of the 23rd, watching my brother grieve, grieving with my brother was a realization that life is so incredibly precious.
I will continue to wear my bracelet to remind myself of the life of Josh Byers, a man of principle and of sound faith, hoping to measure up to his reputation. It was said of Josh, that throughout his life, he kept his pace count and his azimuth, measuring his steps by the Word of God, and keeping his direction by fixing his eyes on Jesus Christ.
The next time that you feel as though you have been slighted, as though you have been wronged. Stop and remember for a moment those that have laid down their lives, remember those that are continuing to work to free people in other lands and put things in perspective.