When you read this, I will have written this on Thursday of last week, because I am currently sans internet in the mountains of North Georgia. This will be a detour from typical Morning Reads, because I have no idea what will pop-up news-wise over the course of the weekend. So, hopefully Charlie won’t fire me over my “point-of-personal privilege” Morning Reads. Below you will find stories of soldiers, of heroes, some Memorial Day facts and traditions, and a few fun recipes.
On Memorial Day, as we enjoy bbq, hotdogs, and hamburgers, time away, appropriate social distanced time with friends and family, it is because of the sacrifices of men and women who laid down their lives for our nation that we enjoy these freedoms.
We enjoy life, even in quarantine, because of sacrifices like those of 21 year old William Pitsenbarger who saved dozens of men he had never met during an ambush during the Vietnam War. Or Lloyd ‘Bud’ Heitzman, a 19 year old who died in a muddy ditch in Italy during WW2. Or Chief Warrant Officer Michael O’Riley, killed in combat in Mosul on April 21, 2015.
And while we are grateful for those who continue to serve today or those who have served, today is for those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Those who have died on foreign soil, in pursuit of freedom for us and for others. Those who chose to serve to their last breath in order for us to sleep peacefully in our beds at night, worship in our chosen faith tradition, question authority without fear of ramification, and maintain these “truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Today, we remember. We honor the past, acknowledge the present, and salute the future. All because of civilian soldiers, those drafted and those who volunteered, men and women who have run towards danger, choosing freedom for others over their own lives. American Heroes who chose duty to country over everything else. May we never fall prey to a complacent mindset that allows us to take for granted the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf.
You can watch virtual ceremonies honoring fallen soldiers here, the National Memorial Day concert here, and watch a very cool virtual flight over Normandy beaches here.