As another Memorial Day approaches, let us remember the sacrifice made by our men and women in uniform who served with honor and paid the ultimate sacrifice in places far from home for the freedom we enjoy. Let us remember them and their families for whose sacrifice we are also indebted. Let not Memorial Day be just another holiday, a day of store markdowns, or a day that marks the opening of beaches and parks for the summer season. Let it be a day of remembrance for our fallen heroes and for their families. Let us offer them our prayers, our thanks, and our pledge that they will not be forgotten. That they mattered. It is the very least we can do as the debt we owe them is beyond our ability ever to fully repay.
Remember our fallen heroes not just on Memorial Day, but every time you see Old Glory flying high, proud and free. She is there only because of them. They can have no greater marker for their passing than the Stars and Stripes fluttering in the wind of a free, strong nation that only exists because of their selfless sacrifice. God Bless them all. And may God Bless all of our veterans and our men and women on active duty who serve with honor.
Behind enemy lines you gave your life,
The risks you knew and embraced willingly,
Red, black and green berets fought by your side,
And brought your body back to family.
Later in a ritual of their own,
They would name a field airport in your name,
And honor you, your brothers, far from home,
Their memory now your eternal flame.
I do not know your rank, your name, your face,
I only know that I am in your debt,
Who for your family can take your place?
Our debt to them we must never forget.
The freedom I enjoy comes thanks to you,
And all who serve with honor, proud and true.
[Reprinted from Of Pain and Ecstasy: Collected Poems (C) 2011]