Yesterday morning I drove out to Pretty Place, a chapel on the grounds of the YMCA Camp Greenville, to watch the sunrise with a couple other people. It was cloudy, so there wasn’t really a sunrise, just a brightening of the sky over the mountains. Afterwards, we decided to do a short(ish) hike out to the Raven Falls overlook.

By 10 o’clock in the morning, we were already heading back home.

As I was driving back down the winding road off the mountain and, eventually, the county roads back to my apartment, I started thinking. This beautiful weekend is Memorial Day Weekend. It marks the unofficial beginning of the summer season. Most of my friends and family have today off, where the big plans include cookouts, grilling, and the usual chaos that comes with hanging out over a long weekend.

While we were hiking, I was asked about some of the patches that have been sewn onto my firepack. One of the patches I have is the recognizable, black and white POW/MIA patch, but I also have another red and black KIA patch. I received it years ago, after I saw it the first time at Operation Rolling Thunder.

These two patches serve as a reminder that not everyone makes it home.

We have buried thousands of our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, family by both blood and undying commitment, loyalty, and courage. We have lost men and women to combat, on and off the field of battle. We have watched them serve and be laid to rest. And we remember their sacrifices.

Before you head on out for your barbecues and grills, before you pop open your beer or soda to celebrate a three day weekend, pause for a moment and remember. Find a quiet place to say a prayer and/or show your respect to all those who have laid down the lives for your freedom.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: