Friday, May 22, 2015

Honoring Our Fallen

There’s nothing quite like seeing Arlington National Cemetery in person. Driving across Arlington Memorial Bridge and looking over to see the rows upon rows of white headstones that seem to go on for eternity is awe-inspiring, yet sad. Each of those white stones is a name; the name of a brave, young soldier whose life was cut too short; the name of a dedicated Marine who left behind a family, children he would never get to see grow up; the name of an infantryman who died in order to save his comrade; the names of so many service members whose love for our country left them paying the ultimate sacrifice. It just doesn’t seem right.

Yet it is right. It’s right because that’s what those men and women were called to do, and I guarantee most of them would do the same thing again if given the chance. They are part of an elite group of people, people who are willing put their lives before anything in order to honor our country and protect the lives of its citizens. They believe in our history, they believe in maintaining freedom, and they will do anything to uphold those beliefs. They are our real-life superheroes.

While most of us will be enjoying the upcoming long weekend, many will be grieving. Some of us might head out to a local parade, while others won’t be able to bear the thought of getting out of bed. Many of us will head to a party with friends or family, but others will head to a grave. Many will smile, but all too many will shed tears.

This Memorial Day, take a moment to remember the real reason we have this long weekend. Take some time to say a prayer of thanks to all of those men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Say a prayer for the families who have lost a service member, that they might find peace in knowing that their loved one was a hero. Tie a yellow ribbon around a tree to remind others why we celebrate Memorial Day.

Please do enjoy your long weekend, enjoy your family and friends, and celebrate life. But always, always remember, Freedom is not free.

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