Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tomorrow is not National Barbeque Day

Happy Memorial Day. Originally called "Decoration Day" this holiday is a day to remember those who have fallen while serving the US Armed Forces. It is not National Barbeque Day.

I don't have the nerve to do what soldiers do. I have heard so many stories but a photo like this brings so many emotions to bear. 

For all those who suit up, swallow fear when necessary, travel to locations as far away as physically and emotionally possible, who sleep in dirt bunkers, walk into the unknown, kiss their families and their babies goodbye for maybe a year at a time, who don't have the luxury of complaining about how long the line is for the morning latte, or the traffic, or the fact an emergency news brief interrupted the season finale of Scandal, we salute you.

I don't want miss my son's baseball games, or friends birthdays, my morning workouts or trips to Anguilla.  I want the freedom and the critical steps that need to be executed to protect it but I am not brave enough to do it. I would be if I had to be but that is one additional amazing component of our country: I don't have to go to war if I don't want to sign up for it. My freedom is protected by hundreds of thousands of other people. The blanket of freedom that not only allows but encourages women to become educated, make choices, vote, buy a home, live where you choose.

This is the same freedom which allows people to openly criticize our government and our leaders. Criticism that in other countries would earn you beatings or life in an underground prison or death. Those people should thank the next person they see in uniform for protecting your right to free speech. PS: Do you know who really cares if you like or don't like Barack? Or George W. ? Or Mitt?  Or Hillary?  I don't know the exact metrics but my guess is: NOT Barack, George W., Mitt, Hillary and 95% of people you are friends with on Facebook.

While we are all enjoying our Memorial weekend, it is a weekend of gratitude. Gratitude for freedoms. These are freedoms paid for by other people. Love my country? Yes. Willing to suit up and die for it? Wait a minute. I think we all want to think we would do it. It is an easy supposition to make from the comfort of my living room. Bravo to the hundreds of thousands of men and women have committed to serving; many of them so young they have likely never left home, lived on their own, had sex, or had a legal cocktail before. But the majority of them willing to go even knowing  what kind of environment they could be deployed to in the very near-term. 

Thank you to not only everyone who signed the dotted line but to their families as well who surely endured trials during the absence. God Bless the USA.