In the United States, Memorial Day is a federal holiday set aside for remembering the people who died while serving in our nation’s armed forces.
Unless you work retail, you probably get the day off. Memorial Day has evolved from Decoration Day, when people decorated the grave sites of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who gave their lives for our country, to, for the majority of the population, a day of pool openings and Bar-b-ques, and that’s ok. What’s not ok, is neglecting to take a moment to remember why we have this day set aside.
While most Americans are celebrating a holiday weekend, and an extra day off, many members of the military are working. Some who are risking their lives, not by adding too much fuel to the grill, or eating too much, but by sweating under pounds of gear in a war zone; driving dangerous routes, hoping to avoid IEDs; or aiding in relief efforts… all over the globe. Since September 11, 2001, nearly 7000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan alone. Whether these men and women agreed with the mission, or not, they served with dignity and devotion to our nation.
Millions of men and women have paid the ultimate price for America since its foundation. Every person in the country should be able to memorialize a person or group of people who died in any one of the many wars we have fought. Just this month, six Marines lost their lives while delivering aid to earthquake victims in Nepal. Remember them. You can be sure that that’s what their families will be doing.
- Capt. Christopher L. Norgren, 31, of Sedgwick, Kans. He was a UH-1Y pilot with HMLA-469, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Camp Pendleton.
- Capt. Dustin R. Lukasiewicz, 29, of Harlan, Neb. He also was a UH-1Y pilot and was with the same unit as Norgren.
- Sgt. Ward M. Johnson, IV, 29, of Seminole, Fla. He was a UH-1Y helicopter crew chief with HMLA-469.
- Sgt. Eric M. Seaman, 30, of Riverside, Calif. He was a UH-1Y helicopter crew chief with HMLA-469,
- Cpl. Sara A. Medina, 23, of Kane, Ill. She was a combat photographer with Marine Corps Installations Pacific in Okinawa, Japan.
- Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Hug, 22, of Maricopa, Ariz. He was a combat videographer with Marine Corps Installations Pacific, Okinawa, Japan.
The men and women who have sacrificed their lives in duty to our country, have, for the most part, done so as volunteers for the duty. Many young enlisted men and women have to depend on pubic assistance for supplementation of their living expenses… That’s another blog post, though.
Horatio is working today, he is traveling this week. The boys had to go to school, because we don’t live in America at the moment, but we took time to talk about the sacrifices of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines; young and old; modern and historical. We talked about the individuals whose lives were taken from them, as well as their families. I urge you to do the same.