This isn't my standard Memorial Day post. I waited until the end of the long weekend to re-work my thoughts to make them a bit more personal than my standard patriotic thank you on the final Monday in May.
This was a wonderful weekend for me. I was able to coach my final games with my son's baseball team, and despite some hard losses (and bad calls) I enjoyed every second. I was able to enjoy my daughter's sweet personality and the love and companionship of good friends, new and old. While baseball made it impossible to see my any family except my kids, I know that they gathered and enjoyed time together as well. It was an All-American weekend and I hope that yours was as well.
Today we walked a block or so to our town's Main Street and honored veterans and first responders for the sacrifices they have given to keep us free and safe. Later we watched humbly as those who gave everything they had were honored with a final reading of poetry, a 21 gun salute, and a quiet rendition of 'Taps.'
I honor the soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who have served our country with the pledge that our freedom is more important than their lives. It shames me that it generally takes national holidays for us to remember their work, their blood, the pain of their families, the tears of their children.
There is another group I honor today, the nations's first responders. The police officers, the fire fighters, and the emergency medical personnel who help us live safely under the freedom our military service persons provide. Without these millions of people, both paid and volunteer, we would be a sad nation indeed. It is time they have their own day of recognition.
So for all who have given so much and for those who continue to do so, I thank you with all of the energy I can muster. My wonderful weekend, and indeed, life, are lived under your protection and I appreciate it very much.
Happy Memorial Day!