“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” -Mark Twain
Memorial Day is so much more than just the kick-off to summer or an excuse to have a mattress sale. Using Memorial Day as an excuse for retail deals kind of turns my stomach, frankly. And although three-day weekends are pretty awesome, do you know what is more amazing? Our servicemen… both past and present. Regardless of your stance on armed conflict, or who is in the White House, our utmost of respect should be given to those who have paid the ultimate price or are currently fighting for the liberties that we enjoy.
I once had the privilege to fly on a commercial plane that was carrying a fallen soldier home. As we deplaned, my fellow passengers and I watched from the terminal window as servicemen from every branch of the military carefully (and with great respect) removed the casket from the cargo area. Despite the bustle of airport travel and as diverse a cross section of people were on that plane, almost everyone from my plane stopped to watch something that was both tragic and beautiful. There were very few dry eyes. And for every amazing homecoming video showing a soldier reunited with his family and dog, there is a family out there who is missing their son or daughter. So, hug your loved ones today… for there is a soldier out there right now who is fighting for your ability to do so. Remember the fallen and remember those still fighting. Freedom isn’t free and there are so many in the world right now who can attest to how lucky we are. Enjoy that hotdog and beer… but say a toast and a prayer for those who made it possible.
For those who have passed and for those currently serving, my most sincere thanks for your courage and sacrifice.