Why are these kids smiling?
Is it because they have just been told they are about to go get a snow-cone?
Is it because they just finished a wonderful lunch of their own making?
Is it because they are out of school and are looking forward to a long Summer vacation?
Or, is it because they are free to pursue whatever they want on this beautiful day?
Today is Memorial Day. A day that all Americans (mostly) can relax, go to a movie, go to the local swim club, or find that all important snow-cone. This is a nation that recognizes capitalism, free markets, freedom of religion/speech and the pursuit of liberty like no other nation on this earth. But it's a nation that owes a great debt of gratitude to men and women who generations past and present, ensured that she remains that way.
When I was my kids' age, I took this day for granted- often repeatedly. As I've grown older and wiser I've come to recognize the incredible price that was paid for me to pursue whatever I want- whenever I want- wherever I want. There aren't too many places on this globe where one can make that statement.
Today I've reflected mostly on those who have given their lives, willingly, so that the rest of us can peruse the local sales at the outlet center, eat out a meal or two, barbecue on the grill and generally make the most of a national holiday that invokes in me a debt of gratitude that I can never repay.
A BIG thank you to all our veterans who we honor today! Because of you, I'm able to choose how I live my life and lead my family accordingly. Your sacrifice makes it possible for all of us to pursue our dreams, in whatever fashion we choose.
You will not be forgotten, you will be cherished. Your sacrifice lives on in each of us who continue to make our mark in this world. I, for one, intend to use that gift to the best of my ability in order to honor your memory...