Wednesday, May 29, 2013


As I'm sure you are well aware, Memorial Day was on Sunday.  If you're reading from another country, this is the day way remember our fallen soldiers, a number that is growing every day. This generation, my generation, was graduating from college right as the "war on terror" was seriously revving up.  My brother graduated in 2002 from the Naval Academy so you can imagine how many friends he has had to say goodbye to.

We should be thanking our veterans every day.  They have faced the unimaginable and have had to come home to lead "normal" lives.  We have a special day for them, Veteran's Day, and really, we try to say thank you any time we see one.  However, on this day, we try to set time aside to remember that for every soldier that comes home, there are many more who do not.  We take our kids to our city's military cemetery and tell them the stories, what the stones mean, and let them know that there are lives lost under the patchy grass and hunks of granite.  I see the families by the graves weeping and laying down their flowers and realize how close we have come to being that family.  My brother has come home from every deployment so far.  We have been so blessed, but this year, I saw a mother grieving her son who was one year younger than me and has already been gone for 9 years.  He died in Iraq.  Soldiers will die somewhere today and every day and it is our job to remember that. 

 This war is strange.  It's diffuse and it's becoming almost commonplace.  We're in danger of getting used to it.  We don't have to start victory gardens or ration our metals.  Our men are not mandatorily being shipped off to France.  We are not forced to become nurses because the wounded are so plentiful.  We can choose what and how much we hear about it by what tv channels we watch. Until a bomb goes off in one of our major cities, we are content to let others do our fighting for us. It takes something that major to remind us that our perceived freedom is not as secure as we may think or that people might hate us for it.  

I am all for barbecues.  I went to one and it was awesome.  Freedom should be celebrated all day every day.  Just remember, whether it's our freedom or someone else's, it's never free.  Regardless of your feelings on where our military is, what this fighting is about, and whether or not we should be there, remember the fallen and remember their families.  If it's not real enough to you, go to a military cemetery.  See a mother stroking her child's gravestone, watch her tears fall, and give her a hug.  It will become real.

"para nuestro hero"

He's ours too. At 25 years old he was brave enough to roll onto a grenade to save his fellow men.  Let's try to live lives that deserve that level of sacrifice.


Nuria Pérez Paredes said...

Wise words. So many times these men and women don´t have the respect they deserve...:(

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