I’m not sure why, but this year’s Memorial Day Observance hit me differently than ones in past years. If I try to figure it out, I come up with multiple reasons, which more or less means I was doing a lot of reflecting this past weekend.

This was the 34th consecutive year of the Memorial Day Observance in Rockport, which means it began the year after I moved to Rockport in 1984. I never had put two and two together.

I also enjoyed spending time with both daughters and their husbands, and all the grandchildren.

I spent time holding and feeding our two newborn grands, and thought about the time 30-plus years ago when I held my daughters the same way.

And the reflecting began.

With the onslaught of moral relativism permeating American society, I cringed at the thought of the world in which my grandchildren will live their adult lives.

Back in the mid-90s my wife and I moderated (for lack of a better term) a course called Growing Kids God’s Way for more than five years. At the end of the 17-week class, the authors of the biblically-based parenting class, sadly noted if moral relativism is allowed to become the norm, our children (i.e. – the age of our daughters) would be the last generation to live in freedom.

Our country’s moral compass has shifted quite dramatically in the past 20-30 years, which is pretty obvious if one opens his or her eyes.

After a weekend being with family, Monday’s Memorial Day Observance rolled around. It is a time during which attendees remembered the ultimate sacrifices paid by our military men and woman so that we can live in freedom.

I sat on the ground sitting Indian style, when I wasn’t taking pictures.

As the Veterans Band of Corpus Christi played musical tributes I felt my mind wander.

I thought of something I overheard my grandfather say when I was a kid. He was talking with other grownups and uttered something along the lines of, “We will be defeated without a single shot being fired.”

I can only imagine what that entire “adult” conversation was about.

Then there was the report last week noting roughly 75 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 25 (as I recall the ages) are not qualified to serve in the Armed Forces due to physical issues, their records, or drug addiction.

Then my thoughts went to we have “anything goes” on steroids when it comes to our collective moral compass, and a military that could find itself unable to fill its ranks without lowering its standards, as well.

At Monday’s observance, the Veterans Band of Corpus Christi replaced its usual Table of Remembrance ceremony with a new ceremony called Mansions of the Lord.

Maybe I paid a little closer attention because it was something new (see story, front page).

And last but not least, the message by Rockport resident Sgt. Joe Riekers was also different in that he used storytelling as a way to demonstrate how respect can be shown to those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

I love analogies (could be the product of being a preacher’s kid), so maybe that’s why I paid close attention to what was being said.

I opened this week’s column noting I didn’t know why this year’s Memorial Day Observance hit me differently than ones in past years.

Maybe the underlying thing that bothers me is the lack of respect (in many areas) shown by a growing segment of the populace that probably doesn’t understand the statement “freedom isn’t free”.

Riekers noted in his speech that our free will is a gift from God.

What have we done with that gift?

Turned it into moral relativism?

Until next week, have a good week.

Mike Probst can be reached at publisher@rockportpilot.com.

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