Today is Memorial Day. Not a day most people even think about anymore, it seems. A government holiday, but many people just think of it as a beginning of summer getaway day. I always think about it, though. For me, it is a day to stop and remember and be thankful. We get to be here and surf this internet and honor this day or not because of the thousands and thousands of men and women who have made sacrifices for us. It doesn’t matter whether or not we appreciate what they’ve done; they’ve done it anyway. And in my opinion, anyone who chooses (or was drafted) to serve in the military is making a sacrifice. They could have chosen any of dozens of other career paths, but they have taken a time out (for some) or chosen to make a career of defending our freedoms. Some of them have made the ultimate sacrifice (thank you, James Akin) and I am grateful not only to them, but their families as well. And today is the day we should all remember and honor and thank them.
I always think of my dad on Memorial Day. He was a career Marine. Not only is it Memorial Day, but next Saturday would have been his 82nd birthday. Though he was pretty much done with his service by the time I was old enough to really be cognizant of it, he was always a Marine. As kids, my sisters and I thought he must have sprung forth from the womb already in Marine green. He never talked much about his time in the service; I think that was his way of protecting his daughters from the “horrors of war.” As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned how true that really was. He fought with the First Marine Division in the battle of Cho Sun, during the Korean war as a 20-year-old and though I’ve read much about it, I cannot begin to imagine what he really went through. I only even heard him mention it once and that was to correct someone’s mis-perception about the hardships. While he did not die in battle, his death far too young was a result of his military service.
If I were home in Colorado today, you’d see my flag proudly flying in honor of my dad and all of the other fine men and women who I thank from the bottom of my heart for their sacrifice that preserved my freedom and made our world a better place in which to live.