Remember and be Grateful


Memorial Day means different things to different people. For some it is the unofficial beginning of the summer, a shopping trip to find the best sales, a long weekend getaway or a BBQ with the neighbors. However, Memorial Day was meant to be a day to remember and honor our fallen soldiers.

So many have laid down their lives knowing full well the dangers they accepted in performing their duties for our nation. As we go about our busy lives, working late, running kids around, and planning our summer vacations there are thousands of men and women risking their lives for us every day.

With that said, this Memorial Day, I encourage you to:

  • Stop. Even if just for a moment
  • Remember. Mothers, Fathers, Wives, Husbands, Brothers, Sisters, Sons, Daughters and Friends fighting for us around the clock.
  • Be Grateful. For the soldiers past and present that have given their lives in order for us to have our freedom.

Now that I've given you a reminder as what to focus on this Memorial Day, I will leave you with this poem written by Kelly Strong in 1981 as a tribute to his father:

Freedom is not Free

I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze;
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform,
So young, so tall, so proud;
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
He'd stand out in any crowd.

I many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?

How many pilots' planes shot down
How man died at sea
How many fox holes were soldiers' graves
No, Freedom is not Free

I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still;
I listened to the bugler play,
And felt a sudden chill;

I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant "Amen"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend;

I thought of all the children
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of the fathers, sons and husbands,
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea,
Of the unmarked graves in Arlington,
No. Freedom is not Free!