May 27, 2011

May 27th, 2011

Dear Sofia,

This weekend we are taking our first big family trip together!

We are flying to Minnesota to visit your grandparents (my mom and dad). Your auntie Becky and your cousins Eli and Connor will be there, too. You've never even met them! And the grandparents haven't seen you in person since you were three months old. Wow, are they in for a surprise...

Our extended vacation is due to this Monday being Memorial day. This is a day we use to honor our fallen (deceased) soldiers, who have given their lives to serve our country. A lot of cynics will say, "Yeah, soldiers don't really 'fight for freedom' like jingoistic people say they do. It's just a paycheck for them."

It may be a paid job, but does that make the details any less extreme? For pete's sake they are sent overseas into foreign lands where it's crazy hot and dry, and sand is perpetually in their boots and eyes. They're covered head to toe in combat gear in the scorching desert. The only people they have to spend free time with are their fellow soldiers who are not always like-minded individuals. Plus they go months, even years, without seeing their families.

Aren't those enough reasons to give them one day - it's only one day we take to honor them, unless you count the fourth of July, too - during which we think about their sacrifice? Even if soldiers are 'dumb' or have been 'tricked' into enlisting by recruiters who think they have no other viable options... why does that make the soldiers themselves dishonorable? Simply put, it doesn't. Whatever the reason they enlisted, each and every one of them puts their desires aside to work for the good of the nation.

Do the troops always know why they are fighting? What the higher imperatives are? Definitely not. But they follow orders, they obey the chain of command, they sacrifice their time and put their lives on hold to serve our country.

We will pray on Monday for the wounded soldiers and those who gave their lives fighting in all our wars, past and present: WWI and WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and many more.


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