Memorial Day is a day of remembering our fallen soldiers and service members from World War I to today's conflicts across the globe. World War I (WWI) was the "War to end all wars..." and yet here in 2014, we still have war torn cities, countries and families. Everywhere.
The good news is that we have brave men and women who serve our country with dignity, pride and honor every day in every branch of the Military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and US Coast Guard. They protect us in ways many of us are not even aware of and cannot fathom how they stay so strong and courageous. Each week I go to Ft. Riley, KS for various events for my job and as I pass through the gate, a young soldier always says to me as they wave me through: "Duty First." Amazing....their first priority is my safety. What an honor and privilege it is to serve our soldiers and their families at Ft. Riley.
Last evening, Tim and I attended the Kansas City Union Station's "Celebration at the Station" to honor our military. The KC Symphony played beautiful music with a performance that lifted our spirits and honored our Military Veterans and current service members. It was wonderful and touching all at the same time. Listening to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture Solennelle, Op. 49 made me remember how important it is to honor and remember our Veterans from wars that happened before I was even born. Lee Greenwood's song "God Bless the USA" gave me chills once again. Amazing Grace and Taps gave us a reason to pause and reflect on the cost of freedom - our freedom.
We have had veterans that are our family members - our dads, brothers, uncles, nephews - in our midst for over 100 years, just in the USA. The beginning of WWI was in July 1914. Wow....100 years of people giving their lives for us, for me.
If you or your spouse, or a family member is a veteran, I say thank you!!! We owe you our lives, our choices, and our freedom. We have an enormous debt to pay you and gratitude swells up from the very core of my being. I cannot thank you enough for what you have given me, my son and my family.
As I reflect on this Memorial Day, I pause and remember.....and won't forget the price that has been paid for me.