America is the land of the free and as veterans and friends and family of veterans know, that freedom comes with a cost. Our beloved country was formed and is protected by the blood of soldiers who answered the call every time our way of life has been threatened.
On Memorial Day, we recognize and bow our heads in prayer and gratitude to those who have unselfishly gave their lives for the betterment of others. For those you marched off to war, yet never returned home to their wives, husbands, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers and other friends and family. Memorial Day is an opportunity to freeze the bustle of the world and honor the fallen warriors.
On May 30, 1868, General John Logan, a national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, proclaimed this day as a day to "gather around the sacred remains of our comrades who died in defense of our country, garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring time and raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor."
Logan also said people should "cherish tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes."
The sacrifice of a fallen soldier is more than just his or her life, it's the grief felt by a wife who now sleeps alone, the grief felt by parents as they find out their child isn't coming home or the grief felt by a fallen soldier's comrades as they try to save his life. The sacrifice to place our country's freedom before their own lives as well as the sacrifice of those veterans' families who watched as their loved one proudly put on that uniform knowing that they may not return.
The sacrifices made by this nation's heros and their families cannot be counted or measured. And so on Memorial Day, we honor our fallen soldiers by placing flowers among their graves and remembering not only the service they provided but them as an individual. Although tears may be shed and hearts may ache, we can take comfort in knowing that they remain with us in spirit and that someday we can meet again.