Monday, May 31, 2010

Land of the Free, because of the Brave

A few nights ago we were out having a little goodbye get together... and one of Mark's buddies, that he recruited into the Marines stopped by. He just came back from Afghanistan about two months ago.

A few of us were talking to him and at one point someone said something to the effect of "Well, thank you for your service, this weekend we are celebrating you."

And do you know what he said?

"This weekend isn't to celebrate people like me, it's to remember those that actually gave up their lives for our country. You can thank me on Veteran's Day."

I was stunned at how much he meant it. How much he truly thought this day was not about him. But, I suppose he's right. As much as I appreciate anyone who is currently serving, or has served for our country, I don't appreciate often enough that there are so many people who have literally died for our freedoms.

Growing up, I never appreciated Memorial Day for the right reasons, probably because no one close to me was in the military. To me it's always been a day off school, or a long weekend, or a day to sleep in after the Indianapolis 500.

But after I heard a Marine say the above, I get it. This is the land of the free because of the brave. So, to those Americans who laid down their lives for this country: Thank you. I don't know if I could do what you have done, and I am eternally grateful for the freedoms I am blessed with because of you.

And for those of you who have served and continue to serve, I am grateful as well, but I'll thank you later. Because today we appreciate those who laid down their lives so that we could live beneath that beautiful red, white and blue, and all that it stands for.

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