It is Memorial Day, a day to remember those who died in our nation’s service. It is a day set aside for us to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, their life, so that we can live in a land of freedom. We take these freedoms for granted every single day and don’t often stop to think about the men and women in uniform who made this country possible. Throughout the history of America there have been battles fought to ensure this freedom. From the Revolutionary War, which was fought for our independence from England to World War II and the Civil War to the current battles in the Middle East, each soldier who has fought has made sacrifices to ensure that our nation continues to be a land of freedom and opportunity.
Last November on Veteran’s Day, we were given the great honor of spending the day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. Mr. L. won a poster contest through the Paralyzed Veteran’s of America organization and his prize was a trip to Washington, DC to attend the ceremonies on Veteran’s Day and to have his poster unveiled. It was such an honor to spend the day in the presence of so many service men and women. Military service runs deep in my family on both sides and I have been raised to honor each and every man and woman in uniform. I have tried very hard to instill this in Mr. L. I just think it is so important to be remember where we came from and to be thankful to those who are brave enough to fight for these freedoms.
Standing in Arlington Cemetery and viewing the seemingly unending rows of white headstones makes a person stop and catch their breath in amazement of what what each of those headstones represents. Each one symbolizes one person who left behind those near and dear to them out of service to our country. One father or mother who never saw his/her children grow, one son or daughter who never again felt the warm embrace of their mother’s hug, one husband or wife who left behind a loving spouse, one service man or woman who believed so deeply in the American Dream that they were willing to give up their life so that the rest of us could believe as well.
On this Memorial Day, take the time to remember those who lost their lives in military service and to say some extra prayers for the family members they left behind. Freedom is not free. Children need to know that they have the opportunity to be whatever they want to be because of the men and women who gave up their lives to ensure that their future was a future of possibility.