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May 28, 2018

MEMORIAL DAY

Have a good one, but please remember why it's called Memorial Day.

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It has become too easy to forget. I lost an uncle in WWII and a good friend in Vietnam. Yes, I will always proudly stand and salute our Flag. And remember...

When I was a kid growing up on various Air Force bases I remember veterans passing out paper poppies on the parade grounds and commissary parking lot. They carried them in baskets and when you walked by they'd hand one to you without saying anything. I wish I had understood the significance of these poppies back then but I was only a kid and just thought they were pretty. I lost a many 'greats' uncle during the Civil War. He was 19 years old and died at Gettysburg, PA. I have letters he wrote to his mother. All of them are beautifully signed, Your Obedient Son, Benjamin. He hated the war and just wanted to come home to his family. I lost a great uncle in Germany during WWII. He was in his mid 20's and left behind two children under the age of five. I also remember sitting in a classroom with a friend who was called out by her mother accompanied by military police. Her father had just been killed in Viet Nam. I never saw her again. Even though I didn't know my two relatives, I always remember them on Memorial Day along with my friend and her family. We should never forget the sacrifices made for our freedoms.

There was an article in today's newspaper (yes, I still read a physical newspaper) about a local man who had served as Sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The article ended with a simple, yet very elegant, quote from this Sentinel that I think aptly describes the importance of Memorial Day:

"The cost of freedom is right there. It’s measurable yet hard to understand."

It may be fitting that Mother's Day and Memorial Day fall within the same month. So many mothers lost sons in our various wars. Sadly, too, there were a lot of fiancées who endured a great loss when their would-be spouse died in battle. They've all been quite strong to carry on.

I'm proud of both my parents who served, as well as grateful to all who have served and continued to serve. Enjoy the holiday, but please take a moment to remember those whom we honor today.

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