"Across our great country this weekend, Americans will revel in the opening act of summer with burgers on the barbecue, road trips to an array of destinations near and far, and recreational pursuits drenched in adrenalin or draped in tranquility. Many will pause to reflect on the supreme sacrifice made by those quintessential heroes of liberty; our sons and daughters who selflessly laid down their lives in the name of the nation's cloth. Memorial Day festivities unite us in uniquely American celebrations of patriotism and freedom, made even more profound by a decade of sustained valor on the front lines." - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick West
This past year I had the privilege to meet a Gold Star wife. She was kind, generous in spirit and trying to put her life back together after losing her best friend, her partner, the one person who she thought she'd spend the rest of her life with and build a family. She was just 26 years old.
In a recent AP article it was noted, "About 2.2 million U.S. service members have seen duty in the Middle Eastern war zones, many of them veterans of multiple tours. And more than 6,330 have died - nearly 4,500 in Iraq, and more than 1,840 in Afghanistan."
On this Memorial Day as we have a day off from the daily routines of a normal work day and the kids are home from school, let us stop to remember the fallen, the brave men and women who have given their lives to defend our freedom.
As President Ronald Reagan said on May 26, 1983: "We owe this freedom of choice and action to those men and women in uniform who have served this nation and its interests in time of need. In particular, we are forever indebted to those who have given their lives that we might be free."
Please share the names of your fallen heroes in the comment section so we may honor their memory and never forget their ultimate sacrifice.