Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day: A Time to Reflect

Today is Memorial Day in the United States of America.

It's a day to reflect and remember those that we know and those we don't know who have served in our Armed Forces and continue to serve across the globe in war zones and otherwise.  It's also a day to remember those that have paid the ultimate price to secure freedom and liberty for us all.

In a truly perfect world, there would be no need for fighting.  There would be no need for billion dollar weapons systems and putting young men and young women in harm's way.  There would be no need for armies.  In a perfect world, we would all accept one another and our differences and live in harmony and peace.  Unfortunately, that world only exists in fantasy.  It's not a real world look at society.  We know that things today are much more ugly.  It's why we need Armed Forces and military.

As someone that enjoys expressing my opinion, I am doubly appreciative of our soldiers.  Without them, we might live in a country where this blog would get me thrown in jail or locked up.  I never take for granted the freedom they give to me.  It's the ultimate example of paying it forward for future generations.

That said, it's a shame how we treat our fighting men and women when they come home.  The recent VA scandal has thrown a veil of embarrassment and shame over our government.  It has touched off finger pointing and grandstanding on both sides of the political aisle.  It's unbecoming of a great nation that, at its highest levels, claims to honor those that serve and sacrifice. We owe it to these brave individuals to stop pointing fingers and fix the problems for this issue should have no political party, and our servicemen and women continue to do their jobs with distinction across the globe.

As I try to put myself in the position of a soldier, I know I could not do the job.  We ask them to do some pretty extraordinary things to preserve our union and our country.  When they come home, we should be treating them like the superheroes they are.  These are the modern day Spidermen and Wonder Women.  They deserve our respect and honor.

For my part, I write this post to thank all those people I know who serve and who have served.

When I was in high school, my parents and I took a trip to Washington, D.C.  We visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.  My father had a student that he had taught in junior high that had died in Vietnam.  We searched the wall and found his name--David C. Kays.  Watching my dad reflect on all of that is a moment I will never forget.

Today, if you see a veteran, an active servicewoman or serviceman, or someone else that has served, tell them thank you.  Take a moment as well to remember those that went and never came back.  They knew that ultimate sacrifice could be the price of our freedom.

All gave some, and some gave all.

No comments: