On this long weekend above all others, most Americans gather to enjoy the start of summer, shrugging off the last effects of winter and breaking out the BBQ grills and summer toys. Many do thank service members on this day…mistakenly and good naturedly.
For those whom served this is hopefully meet with grace, regardless of what your feelings might be… for this is not our day. It is reserved for our brother and sisters that sacrificed all. For their families, who know the pain of promises lost and uncertain futures.
For us, we veterans; this day of remembrance is bittersweet…of the hardships shared and the camaraderie that is found nowhere else in human existence. We have the same questions, with no easy answers; as the families and those feelings are often compounded by the guilt of survival.
What all of us most keep foremost in our thoughts is this…our friends and family members, those brave warriors who gave their all, did so freely and without remorse or hesitation. For God and country? Perhaps in part but mostly for those whom stood beside them united in the ideal of right over wrong and the certainty that those basic freedoms must be protected and safeguarded from those who would do it harm.
On this day, I thank their families. The children most especially, who will grow up without fathers and mothers. Please know that their sacrifice was not in vain and that the world is both safer and richer for having had them in it.
I would ask that on this day, we each honor that by extending a helping hand to those families still struggling with such monumental loss, remembering that our freedoms are rights earned thru sacrifice, not inalienable privilege.
For myself, I am honored to have served amongst them.