I am a sailor. I have served my country proudly and ably for over a decade. Memorial Day is not about me. It is not my day. A few posts back, I went down my personal honor roll. Friends, relatives, and fellow warriors who shed this mortal coil, some before their time. I have signed a blank check to the USA for a price payable up to and including my life. The men whose day this is paid that price. The below is a sentiment shared by many, but in my way. I actually thought some of these things today. As I am a sailor, this will have a distinctly Navy slant.
When the smoke from the barbecue gets in your eyes, remember the men on Battleship Row, the USS Forrestal, and USS Cole, battling fires to save their shipmates.
When the seawater from the beach goes up your nose, remember the men on the Dolphin, the Thresher, and those lost at sea in other engagements.
When you get a sunburn, remeber the men in North Africa, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan who died in the sweltering heat from enemy action.
When you partake in ice cold adult beverages, remember the men freezing in Valley Forge, strapped across Jeeps in the Chosin Reservoir, or the honored dead being transported in ship’s refrigerators(why we sailors remove our hats on a ship’s messdecks) to their final resting place.
Remember also the first responders from 9/11, “…those heroes who died, just doing what they knew.”
We have been watching the various war movies on TV and I have been explaining to Pocket Monkey about PTSD and sacrifice in words suitable to his age.
Last night, we watched Tora!Tora!Tora! Pearl Harbor holds a place of honor and reverence in the US Navy’s collective conscious. Always I ask, “What would I do in their shoes?”
Always remember, real men are allowed to cry today. Today is a day of remembrance. Today, I will cry like a baby. I will remember those who have gone bfeore me to do defend freedom and democracy around the world.
Men I know have died.
I personally know too many men who have died for our freedom. Let us honor them. “Happy Memorial Day” Let us mourn on their behalf.
May they Rest in Peace.