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“…let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude – the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.” -General John Logan
“The greatest casualty is being forgotten.”
Last Memorial Day my husband was deployed. I spent the weekend in Washington, DC, walking through Arlington with his extended family, and went to the National Memorial Day concert on the lawn of the Capitol to honor and remember the fallen.
It was one of the hardest days of my life. Not because my husband wasn't with me, but because I realized the blessing it was to have him alive – and I felt guilty seeing all the young wives on the Hill, many with children, whose spouses were being honored as the Fallen and not the Fighting.
Many of my readers are members of military families. To date, most of those families are intact. Some aren't. Please know how much I love every single one of you. I love you so much, and I consider you my family.
I read a headline this morning: “Memorial Day Weekend: Tacos, Beer, Movies & Kayaking.” I hope everyone is enjoying their day off. But lest you forget, you're Kayaking, Taco-ing, Movie Watching and Boozing today in honor of every man, woman and family who has paid the price for your right to debauchery. Take a minute to remember that.
I often discuss what's wrong with the food and health care systems in this country. I'd be proud to advocate ending the government's subsidizing of lifestyle diseases in favor of giving a few extra sheckles to Veteran's programs. Because, in the end – whether you agree with the Politics of War or not – it's the soldiers who agree, politics aside, to do whatever their country, whether healthy or sick, asks of them. Their commitment is not conditional. It transcends personal opinion, fear, family and government squabbles. It's a beautiful, painful, inimitable thing.
It's the soldiers who preserve our right to sickness, health, veganism, idealism, beer drinking and kayaking. They are charged with defending the lives and the livelihood of the grateful and the ungrateful; the Monsantos and the small farmers alike. Sometimes this demand is applied inappropriately, and the resultant turmoil is heart-wrenching.
Whether Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or Independent; whether flag waver or flag burner; you reap the benefits gleaned from the lives of our soldiers. No one is exempt from the debt of gratitude we owe every member of the Army, Marines, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard, as well as their families. This day is one of deep gratitude and solemn remembrance.
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