We come,
not to mourn dead soldiers,
but to honor them. – Unknown

Did you know that Memorial Day got its beginning after the more than 600,000 American soldiers died in the Civil War?  It was a sad chapter in our country’s story, just as every soldier still dying in the service of the United States is still a somber reality.

I do not write this to cry about those who sacrificed, but instead to honor those who gave their all.  My reading this year has included several books by servicemen, so this Memorial Day, the brothers in arms of those soldiers are who comes to mind.  After reading Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell, those who died on that mission are now real to me.

These are just a few of the more than 57,614 who gave their lives in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  These too, pale in comparison to the Vietnam War (211,454) , Korean War (128,650) or World War II (1,076,245.)   These numbers are staggering.

we come not to mourn dead soliders, but to honor them

Today, I will say a silent prayer each time I see a flag at half mast and thank you – the heroes who demonstrated the ultimate example of putting others ahead of yourself.  Thank you.

Chris Doelle