Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

My friend Tina's husband and son.
Memorial Day. A day for bbqs and family gatherings and parties and the unofficial start to summer season for those of us in the south. Many people on this day are visiting the graves of their loved ones who lost their life protecting the rights and freedoms that we all enjoy every day. Dare I say, rights and freedoms we take for granted every day. I am just as guilty as everyone else in this. I just reunited with one of my best friends. I've known her since I was in middle school. Trust me, it's been over 20 years now. She's the wife of a serviceman. He's been in the military since he graduated. And he's just been deployed for another year in Iraq. Hearing from her and her pain at his going away, stresses to me just HOW much sacrifice goes into my freedom. Not just the sacrifice from the soldiers. But the sacrifice from their families. Children go without their parent for MONTHS even a year or more at a time. Wives and husbands separated by thousands of miles. And the desire to protect your loved ones tested every hour of every day because you can't protect them. They're protecting you and every person you meet on the street. No matter how they feel about the politicians, no matter how they feel about the situation, they go and they put their life on the line to make sure we get to enjoy our quality of life. And sometimes, it costs them theirs. It has to be heart wrenching to see your loved ones and know that it could be for last time. These people are a special breed of person. These people are strong beyond measure. And the least we could do is give our veterans, our serving and all their families a huge and heartfelt Thank You. And unfortunately, that cannot express the feelings that I have. I am not only grateful, I am heartbroken for those who have experienced that final goodbye, but I'm so happy and proud to in the country that I live in, and that there are men and women  and entire families that are as strong as they are.

So on this day, hug your loved ones. Hug them close. And when you enjoy your bbq and your beer and your self-censored tv/movies, know that SOMEONE had to give their life to make sure that you could still enjoy it.