Every year, I have one of those moments on Memorial Day where I take a break from my holiday plans with the family (it sometimes can be hectic, although a blessing, from time-to-time for any father with children to regain composure). I always have that pensive moment, where I reflect on how very lucky I am: My family, my community and of course, our military. I have similar reflections as this throughout the year, but Memorial Day is a little different.
It could be special for any number of reasons. Many of you have your own reasons why this federal holiday is atypical. Besides the fact that both my grandfathers served in the U.S. Army, I also recall participating in a special way, throughout my young adult years, in Clarks Summit’s parade as a volunteer firefighter. Though I’ve always been thankful for the sacrifices of our armed forces serving throughout our country and abroad, in a unique way, I now root on my stepsons’ father who is serving overseas in Kuwait and Afghanistan.
Freedom isn’t free. United States history can attest to that. Occasionally, it’s even attacked from within – 911 and the Boston Marathon Bombing immediately come to mind. On the battlefield, it’s often stated that soldiers are not permitted to mourn the loss of their fallen comrades for fear that it could jeopardize the mission or put their unit in harm’s way, but Memorial Day does given them a temporary release of sorts… to mourn, to pay their respects, to pause and to remember.
Off the battlefield here on homeland soil, we are surrounded by the fruits of these sacrifices. We have homes, holiday barbeques with family and friends, (assuming we’re registered American citizens of age eighteen) voting rights, not to mention many others freedoms. So whether you’re catching a local baseball game or spending time with someone you love this holiday, please take the time to stop (i.e. take a walk or visit the cemetery), remember and say thank you.
Memorial Day 2013. We honor their sacrifice!