It’s that time of year again where your Facebook feed is going to be filled with patriotic posts, pictures of mouth watering BBQ plates and families playing games in their back yard. It’s also that time of year for many of us who are connected to the military when we pause to reflect, to memorialize, those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. The Facebook posts, BBQ plates and time spent with family does nothing to detract from the special emphasis we place on this day. If anything, it further deepens the connection we have to those memories of all who came before and paved the path for our freedoms.

Nothing will change your perspective of Memorial Day like experiencing first hand the loss of someone who has served in the military. It puts into sharper focus the deep commitment those who stand and swear an oath to our country actually have in carrying out that oath. It becomes more than a day to reflect, it also becomes a day to celebrate their lives and to give thanks for all that their sacrifice has bought. For me, Memorial Day will always be a day of deep and heartfelt thanks.

I am thankful first that my husband is able to be home. Holidays and special occasions are not always guaranteed in the military life. One Memorial Day home now may mean three or four where he won’t be. So I am thankful for what we have now and I do not dwell on what we won’t have in the future.

I am thankful for those men and woman who are away serving at this moment and won’t get to be home to eat with their families or play games in their back yard. I am thankful for the families who will feel their loss and miss their presence. Who will have to make do with a  phone call or Skype session.

I am thankful for the connections that being apart of the military community as brought me. We share in grief, in joy and in triumph. They have taught me so much about myself and I hope I can give back as much as I have been given.

Lastly, I am thankful for those men and women who gave their lives for our freedoms. Who no longer partake in Memorial Day BBQ’s, Facebook posts, or back yard games. Who will not see children, friends and family as they gather together in their honor.

This Memorial Day, I will celebrate with my friends and family just as we have always done and with the ever present thought that we celebrate this day for and because of those special men and women. This is their day and I am so very thankful for it.

**Written in honor of all who made the ultimate sacrifice and their families. Thank you.**




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