Happy Memorial Day to you.
Honestly this is one holiday that has slipped through the cracks for me for most of my life. It’s the summer time, so typically I was off school anyways and enjoying the summer. The bank closed and so did the post office. My family would sometimes cook out, but we didn’t have a zillion people over for a Memorial Day party. I remember my dad would watch an old John Wayne war movie since he was off work and tell me that the holiday was to commemorate and remember the sacrifices that our troops have paid to protect our freedom over the past 2 and half centuries.
I didn’t serve in the military. I almost did. When 9/11 happened, thousands of young men and women were so affected by the bombing of the World Trade Center that they joined the armed forces. I remember a week after 9/11, I was working a late shift at the radio station and watching on TV a memorial for the plane that crashed away from NYC. I don’t remember the flight number, but it was the plane where the passengers rebelled against the terrorists and refused to go along with their plan to crash it into a building. I watched as a son gave a passionate and beautiful eulogy for his father who took a powerful stand in a difficult situation and saved thousands of lives. I thought to myself, if that had been my father, I’d be in the army recruitment office right now. I was actually thinking more serious about joining after that, being so moved by the sacrifice of ordinary people to protect and save their countrymen. I ended up not going forth with joining.
Now nearly 9 years have transpired. I have friends returning from being in “the desert” (as they call it) who are serving in the Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy. I have some friends who just shipped back out to the desert for several more months. I’ve always been a fan of heroes, which is why I loved comics so much. But unlike comics (with the exception of Batman perhaps), most heroes in the world are ordinary people who choose to sacrifice the luxuries of live or what they have for the safety and betterment of their common man. These are the men and women of our armed forces, not super-powered individuals, but people of great heart, great passion for their country, and those who’ve made a sacrifice worth remembering.
For all of you who have laid down your life, sacrificed yourself, your job, your dreams, whatever it may be, thank you. Thank you. Your sacrifice is worth more than words can give. But it’s certainly worth remembering.
I’d like to say a thank you to all the friends and family I have who have served: Reginal Moore, Wyatt Davis, Aaron Nunn, Andre Bender, Ben Craycraft, Brett Monroe, Kyle Jenkins, Coach Rivas, Dave Bendinger, Dennis Davis, Ethan Soliz, Jamal Gordon, James Thompson, Justin Burkett, Michael May, Mike Driscoll, Ralph Walker, Roy Utley, Ramon Castillo, Rick Bacorn, Kevin Anderson, Tim Betz, Tom Pharris, Anthony Mincer, Michael Blackwell, Michael Tran, Betheny Jones, Chris Rittman, Dominic Carrera, Gary Jamison, John Ganske, and others I’ve met along the way. Thank you.