We know Memorial Day, on this given day, as a U.S. holiday, but many other countries have their dedicated times to remember those who gave their life serving their country as well.
As a child I enjoyed Memorial Day for several reasons: It marked the end of school and the unofficial beginning of summer; most events took place outdoors and it was getting warmer; and you could enjoy most all the American comfort foods if your family and family-friends adequately varied the menu.
Who cared about moderation? I was going to burn off the hamburger, hot dog and potato salad and baked beans way before going back for barbecue chicken, mac-n-cheese, salad and watermelon. The final snack/meal was raiding the coolers and/or refrigerators with some friends to see what we may have missed.
My father served in the Korean War and I gobbled up all the old war flicks, had my share of GI Joes and played Army more times than I can remember.
I never heard my father's stories until well into my teens (rightfully so) and I definitely wasn't mindful of politics, casualties and death (by so many means) in my youngest of years.
After having grown up (somewhat) and serving ten years in the U.S. Navy, much of the time spent dealing with intelligence information or reporting it, I grew to know and dread the costs of war, but this doesn't prevent us from preparing for and reckoning with and combating our enemies - I hate the word, but history tells us, they will always be there, and not just ours.
So please remember all those who have sacrificed their lives for our country, whether or not you may have believed in or supported the conflict. The conflict, for many who have served - gung ho, reluctant or otherwise - was not simply the war or military action, it was all the thoughts, experiences and emotions they endured in doing so.
You may also wish to give remembrance for those other countries whose warriors have paid the price as our allies.
And, please don't forget all those in support of and the families of our combatants who have shared the cost of war.
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