Originally published May 30, 2011 Today is Memorial Day. Today is the day we honor our fallen military heroes, those who have given their lives in service of freedom. Not just any freedom. American freedom, surely the best, the most coveted, most free freedom in all the world. In today’s world of reality t.v. stars, Youtube and social media that measures value by the number of “friends” one can accumulate, it is good to stop and remember, however briefly, that there are those out there who thought about more than just themselves. They had an inspired understanding of just how special America is in the world. They saw that the freedom and opportunity America had to offer her people was also the very thing that made her vulnerable to attack from those who are, at heart, the enemies of freedom. They knew that someone had to stand up and protect that freedom, and they volunteered their own lives in order to be that someone. They paid the highest price imaginable, and inspired countless others to do the same. Some of those others are alive today. They continue to walk the wall to keep people they’ve never met or even seen safe from oppression. They are willing to make that ultimate sacrifice. They are a special breed, a unique type of human being and we thank them today – those that are gone and those that still walk the wall. We thank them because they have sacrificed so much more than is even fathomable. Not just their own lives and bodies. They have given so much more than that. They have sacrificed their family’s peace of mind, their own, and sometimes their sanity. They have sacrificed birthdays and being-born days, weddings and funerals, graduations, engagements, family reunions; Christmases and holy days, first home-runs, first dance recitals, first kisses and first heartbreaks; beach days, rainy days, lazy days, honeymoons, date nights, Superbowls and World Series’. They’ve sacrificed the smell of home, favorite arm chairs and beloved pets; hot dogs and steak, grilling and fireworks, hurried breakfasts and lingering family dinners; smiles, tears, hugs and kisses and the comforting arms of a sweetheart after a long, tense day. They’ve sacrificed in ways that cannot be measured or seen, in ways we ordinary citizens will never truly fathom. There are no proper words to express gratitude for such selflessness, yet Memorial Day is a day we try. We try to say ‘Thank you, you are the greatest among us. Thank you.’ Happy Memorial Day to all of our heroes, fallen and standing. May God bless you all, and may God bless America.
crossposted at kiradavis.net