Here in the US it is Memorial Day weekend. The first Memorial Day since the official end of the war in Iraq. This is the day that we remember soldiers that have died while serving the US Armed Forces. Right now, the men and women of our armed forces are in active combat. Fighting on my behalf. Dying. I can't express my gratitude to all the soldiers of the Armed Forces, and their families. Thank you.
I come from a part of the country where a fairly large portion of (mostly men) high school graduates join the military. I didn't know these folks well, and I lost contact with them long ago. But, as our nation continue to fight active wars in far-away places, I wonder sometimes how they are doing. This three-day weekend there will be a lot of folks that are grieving. The heartbreaking picture below was taken in 2005 and featured in a recent NYTimes piece. It features Katherine Casey, who lost her husband.
The night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of 'Cat,' and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. "I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it," she said. "I think that's what he would have wanted."- caption from POYi award page
We have lost too many soldiers in the wars of the last decade. My heart goes out to all the family and friends that are hurting. That are dealing with tragedy, either because someone they love did not come back, or did not come back whole. Last Friday, Rachel Maddow included a clip of Vice President Biden speaking to family members of fallen soldiers (embedded below). This brought tears to my eyes. It is one of the most moving things I've ever seen.
Thank you. That seems insufficient. It is insufficient, in relation to the magnitude of the sacrifices of our troops. Thank you.