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On May 1st I had major surgery on my bottom to repair a serious wound that wouldn’t heal on its own. Now, I’m confined to bed rest for eight weeks as part of the healing process.

Over two weeks have gone by since the surgery as I lay in a hospital bed by my bedroom window. There’s been lots of time to watch spring unfold, while I gaze out the window.

Surprisingly, being restricted to bed has its benefits – especially as I’ve watched the tree foliage return and the grass turns velvety green. It’s been a special sight to see squirrels and rabbits play and to hear birds sing again. Watching the seasons change before my eyes has been a rarity compared to my normal day-to-day routine as a volunteer physician.

An even greater benefit has been the amount of time I’ve had to meditate, pray and reminisce – especially now with Memorial Day upon us.

This important holiday marks the beginning of summer fun when many families and friends start gathering for cookouts and camping trips. For me, it’s always been an opportunity to enjoy the Indy 500 Mile Race with my sister.  We’ve enjoyed this special tradition together for the last several years. This will be only the second time since the 4th grade that I have not gone to the race!  Instead, I’ll be watching it on TV.

The real significance of Memorial Day goes much deeper than any of our typical traditions. It’s a sacred time to remember and honor the fallen U.S. military men and women who have served our country in the Armed Forces. Their memory is recognized with American flags placed by white crosses and headstones at the Arlington National Cemetery, Normandy and the other military cemeteries in America and around the world.  Memorial Day is also about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; a monument dedicated to U.S. service members whose remains have not been identified. The tomb is guarded 24-7…including times of disaster like 911. We must always remember our deceased veterans as well, like my wife’s military parents.

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Lately, with so much time on my hands, I’ve become well acquainted with YouTube. Recently, I watched a program on the development of the aircraft carrier. It’s been intriguing to me! I’ve been amazed at learning how difficult it was to perfect the landing of aircraft on these carriers.  Many test pilots lost their lives trying to get it right! The military mission, however, is ALWAYS finding ways to keep America safe – even through great sacrifice!

Please remember our fallen soldiers, wounded warriors and the deceased veterans in your life.  Because of them, we are free!

 God Bless You!