Today we attended a Memorial Day program here in town. One of our friends was giving a tribute and another group of friends was singing, so we decided to go and support them. Our friend who gave the tribute talked about his grandfather, who had retired after twenty years in the Navy, and how much his grandfather had done to shape his life and make him the man he is today. Then he talked about his grandfather's younger brother, who died while serving in the Pacific, and how that brother never got to share such memories because he gave his life in the service of his country and his fellow citizens. I thought it was a wonderful way to acknowledge what his great uncle had given up - in his case, even a chance at a future family and memories that would involve - and why we should honor fallen heroes on Memorial Day.
I also wanted to take a moment to write on this blog about something Todd did at his wedding reception, which I thought was great. He thanked former boss, who had been deployed in Iraq until just before the wedding, for his service to our country and for making it possible for all of us to enjoy celebrations like weddings. That boss then paid tribute to Todd, who had helped his wife secure the loan on their house when the bank had decided originally not to give it to them because he was deployed. Todd helped them do the right thing, and because of that his boss presented him with a flag his unit carried around during their tour of duty, along with something he could hang with it to thank him for his service to a soldier. I thought of that special exchange at the reception today, as we gathered to remember the real purpose of Memorial Day. To all those who have lost loved ones in the military, or those who have been willing to risk their lives themselves, many thanks and much appreciation.