Many of us fill our belly with beer and burgers on Memorial Day. Some of you might even go to the range to celebrate freedom by putting some holes in paper, others might head to the lake with friends and family, spend the day running around town with kids in tow, or even loaf around the house and enjoy the day off from work.
Before I get too deep into this emotionally charged post, I want to say that all of us here at TFB are overwhelmingly grateful of those that laid down their life in defense of their country. We owe them a debt that can never be repaid.
But what am I doing to celebrate Memorial Day? Sitting in the backyard, watching my dog Bear play and thinking about the fallen that so bravely made the ultimate sacrifice for those that they loved. I can’t bring myself to visit a national cemetery today, I prefer to visit on days that I am able to reflect on my loved one in solitude.
While I am thankful for the sacrifice that all of our fallen has made for their fellow service members and countrymen, there is one soldier in particular that is the subject of my thoughts, my youngest brother Michael. I ask that instead of offering your sympathies, you reflect on what you are able to enjoy thanks to the sacrifices that men like Michael made.
There are many quotes that you might see on social media today, I have posted some of my favorite ones below. They stir emotions of pride and sadness at the same time for me like many others that are remembering their fallen loved one today. While I may not agree with how some of the men listed below viewed the world, I can look past that to see the wisdom in their words. I ask that you do the same.
“The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men.” – Minot J. Savage
It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” — General George S. Patton
“We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them.” – Francis A. Walker
“Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay, but we can honor their sacrifice.” – President Barack Obama
Over a million Americans have given their life in service to their country. If only one can have such a profound impact on my life, think of the impact that our honored fallen have had on all of our lives.
Sure, it is a bit selfish of me to focus on one man today, but rest assured that I am thinking about people like SPC. Christopher J. Scott, Master SGT. Joshua Wheeler, Staff SGT. Joshua Dean, and many others that gave their life while defending what they love from its enemies.
For those of you wondering, Michael now rests in one of our nation’s many national cemeteries among other heroes that are well deserving of the title. If you are able, take the time to visit them and say thank you.
You can also check out Carry The Load, an organization dedicated to preserving the memories of these great Americans. They are doing a wonderful job of keeping the reason for Memorial Day fresh in our minds.
Have a safe and meaningful Memorial Day. May we never forget the fallen and let them live on through memory.