Today is Memorial Day in the U.S.
Arlington National Cemetery
For many, it has become the unofficial start of summer, a time for barbecues and family fun. For others, it is a day to remember family members who have died.
The real reason for Memorial Day, though, is to remember and respect the sacrifice of our men and women in the military. No matter what one feels about the political decisions that lead our brave servicemen and women into battle, our military members deserve our support. They haven’t asked for the wars they are required to fight, for the conflicts they are sent into, but they go in our service and they give it everything they have. Including, far too often, their very lives.
How can we ever use the word hero in context with musicians, actors, or sports stars? The real heroes are these: our airmen, soldiers, sailors, marines, coast guardsmen.
I have so many connections to every branch of the military save the Coast Guard. My father-in-law served in the Army in WWII. My stepfather-in-law was in the Navy in WWII. My father was a Marine in Vietnam. My stepfather (Dad) served in the Air Force during the Korean War. My brother-in-law was a Marine, a couple of uncles and an aunt served in the Air Force. Many friends have served and continue to serve in the Army or Marines.
It takes a special man or woman to make a career of the military. To be a warrior. To place themselves in harm’s way in order to protect friends, family, and the concept of freedom. Perhaps that’s why so many romance heroes are marines, or soldiers, or SEALs. They are larger than life, men who bond together to keep each other, and their country, safe in the face of unspeakable dangers. Men who fight hard and love hard, too.
For our service members who face far greater physical and psychological terrors than anything authors can cook up, and who don’t always have a happy ending waiting for them…and to those we have lost, to the families who have given more than should ever be asked of a human being…your sacrifices are not forgotten. From the depths of my heart and soul, thank you. You are the true heroes.