Doing it all the hard way...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

On behalf of a grateful Nation

Beginning in high school, and continuing through my late twenties; Memorial Day weekend was spent on backpacking trips in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. As my children got older it became a time for barbeques with friends and their kids. With the passing of Janet’s father it has finally become what it should have been all along, a time to reflect and be grateful for those who serve our country past and present.

I grew up at a time when anti-war protests flavored the nation. As such, my reverence for the military was predictably soured. As I grew older and wiser I gradually began to comprehend the magnitude of the sacrifice of the men and women who have served. For those who were fortunate to return to their lives after their service, I realize they knowingly forfeited their individuality for the time they were enlisted. They went where they were asked and were prepared to give their lives if required.

At the graveside service for my father in law at the National Cemetery, I was truly struck by the men and women who performed the ceremony. It speaks volumes to the caliber of men and women who, years after completing their duty, volunteer their time to lay their brothers and sisters to rest. When they presented my mother-in -law with a flag on behalf of the “President of the United States and a grateful Nation” it touched a rare place in my heart. The signs that guide you to the cemetery feature the words, “Where Hero’s Rest.” I can’t pretend to add anything to that.

Happy Memorial Day.

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