I cried this morning. I am not ashamed. I cried for our nation. I cried for its citizens. I cried for those we honor today. Memorial Day. 2017.
Imagine facing an enemy with the full understanding this could be your last time out. As the bullet rips into your chest, imagine your final thoughts being of loved ones you will never see again as you hope they will forgive you for doing what you felt in your heart was right. The daughter you’ll never see get married. The spouse you’ll never tenderly hold again. The parents you know will be forever heartbroken and damaged.
Imagine the family when they receive the news. Their hearts sink when an unmarked government car pulls in the driveway and two uniformed people approach their front door. Their lives have been forever altered. Nothing will ever be as it was. Time stands still.
Imagine the torment of a discharged war veteran as their very much alive body is returned to Hometown, USA, but their mind somehow missed the plane ride home. Or those who sustained injuries that sometimes years later finally demand final payment, i.e., Agent Orange, burn pits, PTSD, TBI (traumatic brain injury).
I cried because so many of America’s citizens have forgotten the reason their alarm clock didn’t go off this morning. Unless of course, it was to beat the crowd to the beach or surprise some hungry fish during their early morning feeding frenzy.
As I thought of things from a different perspective though, I realized these brave men and women died for our continuing right to toss a T-Bone on the grill while sipping on a cold one in their honor. If they were still here they’d be joining in. They would want you to do with your life, the very thing they gave theirs for. Live it. Just as they would be doing.
I cried this morning. The term “ultimate sacrifice” is not a catchphrase. It’s very serious and demands respect. My tears are now dried. In light of this newfound perspective, I will now enjoy the remainder of the day as our nation’s fallen would want me to do. As they would want you to do. Just don’t lose sight of the reason you aren’t working today.