Memorial Day is surely a day to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Being part of a military community makes you keenly aware of the sacrifices of those who serve, as well as those who stand behind those in uniform. But, when I think Memorial Day it’s not about my soldier or my family. Ultimately this day was set aside so that those who made the ultimate sacrifice would not be forgotten. How could we not, as a nation, do such a small thing?

I’m not naive. I wonder sometimes if I weren’t somehow affiliated with the military, how I would spend today. Would my thoughts even have shifted to those serving our country… those who served before?

Before meeting up with friends today we stopped by the 1st CAV memorial to, in our own way, pay our respects. As we walked up to the memorial, a man who I can only presume was a soldier, stood kneeled in front of the stones, tears streaming down his face. My heart instantly froze and I worried that our precense might somehow interfere with what appeared to be such a private moment.

I had to turn away as tears began to form in my eyes because he was such a stark reminder that for so many of our young men and women in uniform, Memorial Day isn’t a necessity. They pay their respects to their brokers or sisters in arms without a calendar telling them to do so. They carry the memories of their friends in their hearts and minds. They wear bracelets with their friends names engraved. They hug the parents of those soldiers and tell them with all sincerity how much their missed.

I can appreciate what Memorial Day is. I’m thankful it’s on our calendars and that so many embrace it’s true meaning. I’m grateful for the sacrifices of so many.