Free Because Of The Brave [OPINION]
Hard for some people to believe but today is not 'National Barbeque Day' but Memorial Day. A day we set aside for honoring those who serve, those who have served and most importantly those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice.
As time flashes by from the carnage of the World Wars we seem to gloss over the sacrifices that were made for our freedom. Freedom to barbeque, fish on a Monday, golf on a Monday or just plain goof off. Without those sacrifices we might live in a different America. One where American English was not heard but German or even Japanese.
It seems to me that history is not being taught as it was when I was in school. I wonder how much time is spent studying war and the sacrifices made by our ancestors. Kids today have no clue what sacrifices were made by the civilian population much less those in battle. I remember seeing old ration cards for sugar and gasoline at my Grandmother's house and her telling me how tough times were. In her eyes I could see a certain look that told me that those hardships were nothing compared to the emptiness that came from knowing that my Father was overseas and might not come back. My Grandmother was fortunate and my Father did return in one piece, unlike many others.
I saw that same look in her eyes when I enlisted during Vietnam. My Mother also began to have that same look. I was fortunate and did not go to Vietnam instead I went to Europe. Many classmates went to Nam and did not return. A few special friends from basic training at Fort Polk went to Nam and did not come back. I was truly fortunate. The minimal sacrifice of being away from family and friends was nothing like the sacrifice made by those brave men who saw battle and the ones that never got to walk on American soil again.
Take part in family fun, barbeques and even Memorial Day sales but please give thanks for the brave men and women who have sacrificed for you to have these freedoms. Pass that sentiment along to your children and grandchildren and thank a Vet.