Monday, May 31, 2010

Kiss A Vet

Today while I was out for my morning stroll, seven military prop planes flew overhead in a diamond formation. It was a wonderful reminder that it is Memorial Day. Because this national day of remembrance always falls on a Monday at the end of May, Memorial Day has become a national day of BBQs. It isn't necessarily a bad thing -- especially if you have a secret passion for ribs and potato salad. (That would be me!) Memorial Day weekend has also become the unofficial kick-off of the summer vacation season, as well as the first time you can wear white pants -- according to some. Personally, I try to avoid white pants. I can't wear them and not spill something like red wine or chocolate ice cream on them. But I digress...

A week ago I was at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. It's a very sobering experience. Both my dad and stepdad were vets -- but neither were at Pearl Harbor -- and I still found the trip out to the Arizona memorial to be sad and solemn. When the boat arrived at the memorial, we were instructed to stay seated until all the Vets and their families onboard had disembarked. I thought this seemed like the least we could do for these brave soldiers. One of the most poignant parts of the memorial is a small monument near the main memory wall that marks the internment of the soldiers who lived through the attack on Pearl Harbor but requested to spend all of eternity with their brothers on the Arizona. I was glad to see so many people there honoring the memory of the fallen soldiers -- and it wasn't even Memorial Day -- but I think it's even more important to remember to honor the soldiers who are still in harm's way every day in service to their country. They make bravery seem like an everyday kind of thing -- I can't imagine being that courageous every day. I honor them as well on this day of remembrance.

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