My grandfather fought in World War II like so many of what is known as the “Greatest Generation”. When he came back, he resumed his life like so many others. He was a husband, my mom’s father, and a pharmacist.
My family is not a “military family” in the least, but I was raised with great appreciation and respect for all of those that currently protect, have protected, and have laid down their lives for the freedoms and comforts we enjoy today.
When I got married, my wife and I went to Hawaii for our honeymoon. We decided to swing by Oahu and spend a day at the World War II monument at Pearl Harbor (another one of our amazing National Park units). It was, coincidentally, Memorial Day weekend. It was, by far, the most powerful Memorial Day weekend that I’d experienced. Despite it being a memorial in the United States, they did an amazing job of telling the story of the war and those that paid the price on both sides for decisions made by their leaders… for good and for ill. It was incredibly powerful, moving, and humbling.
While most of you that read this are in the States, I hope that everyone, American or otherwise, will pause and reflect on those that have given their lives for the cause of freedom across the world. We owe them a debt of gratitude both past and present.