I couldn't let the day slip away without acknowledging the tremendous debt I owe to the brave men and women who have fought and died for my freedom over the 200+ years of this nation's history. I am grateful not only for their tremendous sacrifices, but for the sacrifices of the families that they left behind. It is fitting and proper that we should take a day each year to remember those who paid the last full measure of devotion so that we could enjoy the freedoms we do today. One of the headstones we looked at today described the RAF cadet interred there as his parents "much loved and only son". This inscription really touched me as I realized how much this particular family had given up in defense of freedom for themselves and their countrymen. This young man never married or enjoyed all of the wonders of parenthood. He didn't have a career, finish his education, or live to ripe old age. Instead, he was cut down in his prime while doing his duty.
I am grateful for the opportunity Memorial Day gives me to take my children to visit our local cemetery and pay our respects to brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who have put it all on the line so that we could enjoy the life we now have. I am thankful for this wonderful land we live in and those who have fought to establish it and keep it free. God bless their memory!