This is my message that was delivered at cemeteries in Natoma and Paradise this morning.
There is much that can be remembered about those whom we honor today, there are many stories that can be shared, and many momentos viewed, not to mention lessons learned. But perhaps what may be overlooked by many, is the simple fact that those whom we remember today heard the call to serve in a vocation that was almost certain to be difficult and dangerous, and yet they took up the vocation of service member for a period of time in their life, some ultimately even giving their own lives.
Those whom we honor held other vocations as well, including sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. They served in other vocations of life as farmers, teachers and workers. They served in their communities in multiple ways.
But they were also members of the army, navy, marines, air force, coast guard and national guard. They held those vocations just as they would others, because there was a need to do so, whether it was war time or peace time; at home or overseas. And so just as God called them to serve their neighbors in families, and communities and in businesses, He also called them to serve in the military.
Vocations do not go away with age, or even with death. You never stop being a parent, or a spouse, or even a child. Those who served their country have never lost their vocation as a service member, even though they may have retired, or died. They will always be remembered in a variety of ways for their time of service, as we are doing so today.
And in that, those whom we remember today have set an example for us to follow. As we serve in our own vocations in families, and in communities and in business, as we serve in vocations that may not always be noticeable or glorious, we do so knowing that God has called us to hold these vocations that we now do, and to serve them well all the days of our lives.
Not all have been called to serve their country as a member of the military, but all have been called to serve their brother and sister in Christ in love; whether we know them or not; whether we can see them or not. All have been called to tell others why we take days like today to remember the vocation of military member.
There may not be a day set aside for every vocation that one may hold, but that does not mean that the labor done in them is any less important or any less appreciated by those who benefit.
Today we remember those who have served their neighbor in the vocation of service member. But we do not forget the other vocations they held, or the Lord of heaven and earth that they served.