It’s a quiet morning and I’m up earlier than the rest of the household. I’m looking over my list of things that I want to get accomplished today, wondering if the rain will hold off to allow for the pool and the hard work.
But I want to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you to the men and women who fought and gave the ultimate sacrifice for my freedom to be here doing just this today.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, some 1.2 million Americans have given their lives in service to their country during war time. Millions more have stood ready to do the same.
While many in my family served in the military, none made the ultimate sacrifice. My grandfather, Reese Melvin Russell went into WWI at age 29. His diary his now recorded at the Library of Congress. My Dad joined the Army at the end of WWII and served in Germany and later in Korea. My uncles, mystep dad, my father-in-law all served.
I never did. As a product of the 1970s, I graduated from high school just a couple of years after the end of Vietnam, so military service wasn’t something I considered. After college I gave it some passing thought, but didn’t pursue it. It’s something I’ll always regret.
So, it is with deep gratitude that today I honor those who did follow that call. I am grateful for their service, for their commitment.
And I honor their memory.