In honor of Memorial Day 2012, I’m taking the liberty of reposting from last year. Have a blessed holiday weekend.
In my town, it’s hard to forget some things.
Every day patriotic concepts such as sacrifice, discipline, and honor are lived out around me.
Roads through town close on football game days so Midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy can march to the stadium.
Fans like me stand by the road and toss the “Middies” individually wrapped candy bars and Hostess cupcakes. At that moment they are college-aged kids with voracious appetites, hands raised in hopes of catching the next treat from a Townie.
Next year some of these guys might be Marines on war torn roads, ducking for cover from an IED aimed at them by the enemy.
The band marches by. The music is inspiring. I tap my feet and feel the urge to wave an American flag.
One musician carries a huge horn, an instrument whose name escapes me.
This same young man may soon see the name and rank of his best friend on a white gravestone.
For me, football is not reason enough to sit in the rain, but Navy football is an exception. The guys on the Navy team are not paid millions of dollars to wear a football jersey. They play football because for them it’s fun. The rest of the week these young athletes sit in the classroom studying nuclear engineering, quantum physics and other things I’ll never understand.
In a year or two, they’ll give up defending the goal line to defend this country’s freedoms. They’ll serve on submarines, ships and battlefields for you and me. For them, I’ll sit in the rain.
But at the beginning of one game, everyone stands for a moment of silence.
A Naval Academy football player who graduated last year, was killed in action.
Even within the walls of my peaceful home, sometimes it’s hard to forget. On certain days, the Blue Angel fighter jets fly over my home. Our windows rattle and tree branches bow beneath their power.
Too often a mother’s head bows in grief over the gravesite of the child who gave his all for our freedom.
For those who have….and those who will….give their everything for our American freedom, let us bow our heads and give thanks to God Almighty for the men and women of the U.S. military.
I live in a town where it’s hard to forget.
May we as Americans, never forget.