How do you say “Thank you” to someone who gave their life for your freedom? How do you do you say “Thank You” to their family who will no longer be able to kiss them goodnight and hug them goodbye? They laced up their boots, their dogs tags around their neck, packed their sea bags, checked out their gear, said their last goodbyes and shipped off. Too many of the letters to their loves ones, once tucked away and prayed never having to be hand delivered by someone else, heartrendingly clinched being read with tears. How do you show honor to these men and women who arrived in battle with their brothers and sisters in Service and returned home in memory?
“We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.”– James A. Garfield
May 30, 1868 Arlington National Cemetery
As a Marine wife of 20 years each Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day I take these days to heart and thank God that with each deployment my husband has returned home safely. Memorial Day is more than just a 3 day weekend, with trips to the beach and no school, it is a day we stop and say “Thank You.” “Thank You” to the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice, their life that day, the life they would have led and the families they left behind. Their memory never fades, their courage never ceases, and their sacrifice is never forgotten. Memorial Day is the day we take a moment to pause and remember the families of those who have fallen in the line of duty. Often times Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day are confused with one another. Veteran’s Day, which is in November, is the day we say “Thank You” to all the men and women who have served, first called Armistice Day. Armed Forces Day is the day we honor all those who are serving now. Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday of each May. Memorial Day, the last Monday of each May is the day we remember all the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving —- their lives, so that we can remain in the ‘Land where at least I know I’m FREE’
In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Martin Luther King, Jr.