Our church had a moment of silence for the men and women who have given their lives in exchange for our freedom. Sandwiched between my veteran Marine husband and his active-duty Marine brother, the generality of those lives became specific.
Photo: The United States flag is seen flying half-mast over a forward operating base in western Afghanistan, 2007.
Now I had names. Instances. Specifics.
The two men on either side of me were not thinking in broad terms. They remembered faces, funny moments, serious conversations. Deaths.
They remembered funerals.
Remembered folding the American flag that lay on the casket of a high school friend. Placing it in the hands of his grieving mother.
As I stood between my husband and my brother-in-law, the stories I’d heard of the men they’d lost replayed in my head. Today is more than a day off of work and a yummy cook-out for them and the friends and families that have lost people they love.
It’s a painful, but strangely proud memory relived year after year in honor of those who aren’t coming home.
Squeeze the ones you love, pray for our soldiers and their families, and let’s celebrate today in a manner celebrating the life we have because of their sacrifice.
[reminder]If you have lost a loved one in service in the armed forces, please feel free to leave their name in a comment.[/reminder]