Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day

I am often overcome by thoughts of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, those lives lost to fight tyranny, overcome strife or stand up for what they know is right. For those of us preparing to enter a combat zone, Memorial Day takes on increased significance.

Before I go too far, I should point out that the day would likely slide by unnoticed as the training goes on. We were not given the typical three-day weekend to celebrate or even the day off. And, really, what would we have done if we had the time off? None of us have a car here. We are restricted to post (with a few exceptions) and, when we do leave, it is in uniform. We were invited to a local Memorial Day concert Friday evening, but between a long day of training and fighting off a virus, I chose to fall into bed shortly after dinner. A few friends did attend and said it was fun; the support of the local community was evident, something many soldiers don't experience often.

The true meaning of this American holiday hit tonight while I was in church. We managed to wrap up training ahead of schedule and the medics and I slipped into a crowded chapel for the contemporary service. Church here is always a time of reconciling mission with faith; I celebrate Jesus while wearing a pistol on my hip and a rifle at my feet. But to worship with 50 other soldiers, sailors and airmen, all training to enter a combat zone, and give thanks to those who went before, really drives the message home. We are so lucky to live in a country where you can choose your destiny, where freedom is celebrated and where a stranger is willing to lay down his or her life to allow us these opportunities.

So, today, fellow Americans, while you bask in the sun at the pool or grill with friends, spend a few minutes to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and know there are many, many more men and women taking up the cause so we can all live free.


  1. Well done....we will be thinking about you today (just like everyday)!!

    Love from your family at home.

  2. God bless you and God be with you Lori!

  3. Hi Lori, We will read daily. Great job.
    Be safe.

    Becky and Jerry