I know that everyone always says “Happy Memorial Day” today, but it always seems kind of wrong to use happy in a day honoring those who fell for our freedom. Yes, they died in honor and we all should be proud and happy for their service, but “happy” just doesn’t seem like the right word for it.
Memorial Day is a bittersweet day for me. It is a day that I spend thinking of the people I know that lost their lives in defense of this country. But is a hard day, too, because in the back of my mind, I know that my husband is deployed right now in Afghanistan. It is never far from your mind that they are where they are, and a day focused on those who fell, makes it all the more clear to you. But today is about those that have fallen and it is to them that I give my thanks. There is Chad, a friend of my brother’s who died in Afghanistan not long after we got there, the first from our division to fall. There is Adair, another soldier from Fort Drum that I became friend’s with who fell in Iraq a few years ago. There is Paul, the husband of my friend Patience, who left behind one of the strongest women I have ever known. And there is Russ, a friend and fellow soldier who was one of the best soldiers I have ever met. And there are so many others, too, that deserve our honor and thanks.
No matter what your feelings on the issues are, it is the soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines who put their lives on hold and on the line for each and every one of us. It is them who do a sometimes thankless job for very little. Sometimes I wish I were still in boots so I could be with them, doing what I loved for an Army that has been my life since I was 17.