Nothing says bring on the summer like Memorial Day weekend! It’s a great time to spend outdoors with family and friends. The kids are out of school. The days are long. The sun is shining brightly overhead. The smell of charcoal fills the air throughout neighborhoods across the country. It’s a great day to be alive.
But, let’s stop and take a moment to remember the actual reason for the holiday. It’s not a National BBQ day. (Although, I wouldn’t turn down an invitation for a nice juicy steak off the grill.) It’s a day to remember those who have given their lives to our great nation. A day to remember the men and women who will never come home from the horrors of war to spend time with their families and loved ones.
There are those who would argue that this is not an important day to remember, that we shouldn’t spend time thinking about the past atrocities of war, that wars are merely travesties created by politicians, and veterans are the puppets who serve their greedy causes. They have a right to their opinions, however misguided those opinions may be. Ironically, that right to voice opposing opinions is ensured by the very people they reject and ridicule, the veterans who gave their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy here in this great country.
We are not a perfect country. We have many problems here. I’m not naive enough to dismiss our shortcomings. However, for all the problems we have and all the discontent we have within our borders at the moment, I am humbled by the fact that so many brave men and women made a conscious choice to give their lives if need be to protect my freedom. No one today is drafted into military service. That ended long ago. Today, you willingly and consciously walk into a MEPS station and take the oath of enlistment. You volunteer to lay down your life for your fellow man, a country full of fellow men you will never know or meet. It was an oath I took years ago and one that my daughter recently raised her right hand to recite.
I’m proud to have served. I’m proud that my daughter chose to serve. I’m proud to be in the elite class known as U.S. Veteran. And yet, I know I will never be able to repay the debt of freedom I owe to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you for your sacrifice. May God grant you everlasting peace throughout eternity. And may God bless your families who miss you so very deeply. God Bless the U.S.A!!