Memorial Day is a day set aside to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice made by our soldiers and their families who kept our country free and safe, home and abroad. I served in the US Army. Soldiers today and in the past sacrifice much to protect our way of life, some gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Although this holiday is to commemorate those who gave their lives, I ask you to remember those who have served in all capacities. They spend time away from their families. They serve here and far away. They can live in the harshest conditions with threats to their lives at every moment. Then there are those hurry up and wait times. Some soldiers have seen things that people were never meant to see. If they don’t come back home, their sacrifice is to be respected and their families comforted and supported. If they do come back, their sacrifice is to be respected and they need our support. Sometimes soldiers have a tough time integrating back into their homes. They might suffer nightmares. They might be just fine.
The poem below reminds us what a soldier fights for and what we should be thankful for. I have sometimes gotten into debates about fighting and war. I know that pacifists want peace always, and I do too. But without a strong force to protect our way of life, then someone will take it from us.
It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protestor to burn the flag.
– Father Dennis Edward O’Brian, USMC (Also attributed to Charles Province)