Happy Memorial Day

Have any of you been to a service man/woman's funeral at Arlington Cemetery?
The sound of the rifles going off and then the start of Taps, has me in tears regardless of whether I was close to the person or not. Standing on the ground of Arlington Cemetery is very sacred to me. The person who is being buried, gave their life for their country, regardless of whether or not they died in the battle field or of old age. At one time they made the decision that their life was worth the freedom that America needed and strives for on a daily basis.
Have any of you been to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and paid your respects? Have you stayed and watched each step the solider in full dress uniform takes, with precision and confidence? Have you wondered how that same solider does it, in the heat of today for instance, or in the snow storms that we had 2 years ago? Do you think that he questions the decisions that he made when he decided to become part of the Old Guard? Do you wonder if you could do the same thing without a feeling of selfishness in your soul? Would you do it for the honor of knowing that you are ensuring that the Tomb is not desecrated in any way?
When a person decides that they want to join the military, many know that they want to fight for their country and make a difference in the world. Some join the military to get out of their house, see the world or to get out of some trouble that they face. They do not think of the consequences of their job.
I don't know where I am going with this post; I just know that we take so much for granted.
I want to make sure that we, as Americans know, what our freedom costs. It may not affect us directly but in some way we need to pay homage more than once a year. I wish we could say thank you to each and every family member that has lost someone every day of the year. The ultimate sacrifice and we only recognize it once a year. We all go to a barbeque with family and friends, or a parade, while taking a day off from work. During this time, a mother, father, son, daughter or another family member holds a picture of their loved one who died for our country tears running down their cheeks, wishing that they could have one more phone call or one more meal with their loved one. Instead, they look out the window, remembering their child, learning how to ride a bike, or coming home from their first date, while the next door neighbor is cooking hotdogs and drinking a beer, toasting the holiday so that they could have a three day weekend.
It is almost 3pm EST. Please take a moment and silently think of what they gave up. Think of how our lives would be if we did not have people who would sacrifice their own lives so we could have a bbq.

Just because you fly an American flag outside your house doesn't mean a damn thing unless you know the sacrifices people have given for each stripe and star on that flag. Memorial Day recognizes all who died:
Revolutionary War: 25,000. War of 1812: ~20,000. Mexican-American War: 13,283. Civil War: ~625,000. Spanish-American War: 2,446. WWI: 116,516. WWII: 405,399. Korea: 53,686. Vietnam: 58,209. Gulf War: 258. Afghanistan: 1,413. Iraq: 4,430. And those are just the "major" wars. (items in parenthesis has been borrowed from Momtothescreamingmasses.com)

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