So, I really wanted to get this up in time for it to say “Monday May 25th” but obviously that didnt happen- in my defense its only about an hour past the end of the 25th right now… Just too many things to do in a day!
I am a HUGE fan of Memorial Day- same with Veterans Day. Here’s why.
*Approaches soapbox, and stands up*
This country is amazing. I’m originally from Canada, but in a heartbeat would claim these great States as my home. I’ve been to quite a few of them, and each one, even the forsaken Wyoming, has something to offer, and some beautiful people and scenery.
Today, as I logged into my facebook account I noticed how many people had their statuses updated to reflect their day’s activities. Pool parties, barbecues, family outings- you name it, people were out and about on the day off. But what bothers me immensely is how much people forget and take for granted all the freedoms we enjoy.
I was like everyone else today- spent most of the day with family, getting things done around the house, running some errands, nothing overly patriotic. While leaving Albertson’s today, I noticed some delinquent juveniles loitering in the parking lot. There are a lot of refugees in Utah, and these teenage boys looked the part. When I first saw them the thoughts that ran through my head at first were the typical, “stupid teenagers, doing stupid things”. Then I recounted not so long ago all the stupid things I did. And how awesome it was. These rowdy teenage boys were hanging out the car’s windows, sitting on the hood, blaring the loudest, most obnoxious rap music, simply because they could. I sat there for a minute and was grateful. Grateful for these kids, who no doubtedly came from a war torn country where they were not able to listen to the music they wanted to, and most likely did not have a nice SUV to hang from or sit on top of. And this is why I’m grateful for my country- because obnoxious teenagers can have the right to freedom of expression and speech however they choose- even if its hanging out of their car window with their butt cracks exposed for all to see, while listening to ridiculous music. It may not be my cup of tea, and chances are in ten years, it won’t be theirs, but the fact they can choose to do that and not have repercussions from their government or mobs or anyone else, is great to me.
I think people in this country have a serious problem. They’re entirely too introverted and not clued into what’s going on in the world, or even in their own neighborhood. Granted, thats quite the steretype, but I’d say its largely true. It makes me sad that people can be so opposed to a war where their own neighbors are giving up their lives. I understand AND agree, that we went in on some of the wrong pretenses. However, I think its a more noble thing to go in because you sincerely believe there is a problem and human lives are at risk, than to stand by and wait to see how many people die. I don’t disagree with the fact that we’ve done some things terribly wrong in the war in Iraq- what I do recognize though is that my friends, and my neighbors are losing their lives to make sure that my standard of living is not compromised. And for that I’ll be forever thankful for.
I’m so grateful that these people risk their lives and make huge sacrifices for the rest of us, even the ungrateful people who ridicule the military and government. I’m even more grateful to personally know people that have dedicated their lives, or part of their lives to the service of our country.
Dave’s paternal grandpa, who is still living, served in WWII. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and love hearing about his time in Japan. While the A-bomb was very controversial, he will swear up and down that he’s sure it saved his life, as well as hundreds of thousands of others. I’m grateful to him for serving his country and for his example to the generations that have come after him. He’s an amazing man and I love him a lot.
To my Father in Law, Dale, who served in the Army Reserves. While he served in a time of peace, I’m still so grateful.
My cousins’ dad Gary, was also in the military, and was over in Iraq, I believe twice. He sacrificed time away from his family and kids to make sure their quality of life(and ours) was secure.
One of my dear friends Meghan, who is in the Navy and stationed out of Virginia Beach. She has been there for me countless times, and I am so grateful to her, for her service. I can’t ever get a hold of her via phone cause she’s always out to sea.
My friend Megan and her husband Daniel, who are both stationed out of Mississippi. Just a couple weeks after they were married Daniel left for 3 months to Germany on duty. Its a tough thing to be a military wife, and something I’ll never know, but to have both parents/spouses serving, I can only imagine is more difficult. I’m so happy they’ve chosen to serve our country as well.
The girls’ dental hygienist, Sarah, whose husband is in the Air Force. She has 4 kids, and though we don’t know her well, I’m so grateful for her sacrifice. I cannot imagine being a single parent and having to transition yourself and the kids back and forth between a two-parent and a single-parent home. AND having to comfort FOUR children?! I admire her tons.
My ex-boyfriend, David, who died in a helicopter training accident while stationed out of Texas. He was an awesome guy, with a big heart, and we had some great conversations about life, and he was there for some very tumultuous times in my life. I still have his Notre Dame hat and often think about the sacrifice he made for me and my family. It also reminds me that while men and women are injured and die abroad in the well known places, many of the military’s training is dangerous and things can happen and go wrong on our own soil. I believe firmly that it doesnt have to be in Iraq to be considered a hero’s death.
My two friends Cliff and Josh, from high school, who both serve in the Army. I’m so grateful to them as well.
I could go on and on and on. I could also name about a half dozen people who I went to high school with who have died fighting. I’m so happy that I can enjoy life, and do the things I want to, and choose to express myself(or not) as I please, and that these men and women fight for the values this country was founded on.
I wish so much for people to understand how lucky we are to live in this country. Its flawed, and we have our ups and downs- just like a human being would, but the resilience and dedication of the American people will hopefully always bring us out on top.
I love this country. I love living here and knowing I do not have to worry about my safety or my children’s safety. Its nice to know that our government is comparatively incorrupt. I’m so happy to be part of the U.S.A. I can’t wait till we can actually afford to prove that I’m a citizen!
I hope everyone had a fantastic Memorial Day and that while you were enjoying your day off, that you thought of those who do not have a day off. Who are a half a world away, fighting for your freedom, for this nation’s freedom. I hope that when the next election comes around, that people realize what an honor it is to vote. Even if you’re not for the candidates, that its imperative that you practice your right to vote and let your voice and opinion be heard.
We are so lucky to live here. To enjoy the freedoms we do and to enjoy the peace we have. Thanks is just not enough for those who fight for our rights and this sovereign nation. I’m proud to be an American, and I hope you are too.