Veteran's Day is a day to celebrate. July 4th is a day to celebrate. Memorial Day, though, is not a day for celebrating. We observe the day, in remembrance of those who have fallen in defense of our country.

I am a veteran of the United States Army, and this is just one man's opinion. Many people, on Memorial Day, reach out to the veterans to thank them for their service.  For those thanking the veterans today: your thanks is appreciated. Today, though, is not for us. It is a day to remember.

On this day, we remember our brothers and sisters who did not come back from fighting for our freedoms. We think of their families. We think of that empty chair at the dinner table. We think of those children who have only photographs. We think of those wives and husbands who still wake in the middle of the night and reach over to find only a cold pillow.

On this day, we remember why there red is on our flag: it represents the blood spilled by the men and women who have defended us. Old Glory is a beautiful sight, with its red, white and blue in perfect contrast. Will that red ever fade? Not if we remember. Not if we hold true to our beliefs in a free society. Not if we remain proud of our country.

My hope for today is that people will take a moment to remember the men and women who have died for our country. My hope is that the names engraved in stone on the monuments and memorials in our parks are not forgotten. My hope is that the politicians of today, as they pass by those monuments and memorials, understand the dedication of those heroes and do everything within their power to prevent any more names from having to be engraved on ANY war memorial.

My final hope for today is that the families of those fallen heroes know that we, as a nation, will not forget.

Freedom isn't free.