Lt. Col. Frank D. Bryant Jr, grilling out, PFC Adriana Alvarez, going to the lake, Specialist Jamel A. Bryant, going to the beach, Pat Tillman, a family reunion. You ask yourself, what in the world does this list of names and activities have in common? Those amazing individuals are all part of a great and powerful force called the U.S. Military. Those individuals all lost their lives in active duty and their service to this nation allows us to have the freedom to picnic, grill out, enjoy time with friends and family on Memorial Day and every day of the year.
I hope and pray that every person who reads this will engage in keeping the memory of those who gave their lives to protect this country and our freedom alive! There are so many things we can do to accomplish this goal; it is not a daunting task! It can be as simple as just remembering and sharing the legacies with the ones who are younger than our seasoned selves. Or, if you really want to make a difference, send a card or a note to a family who is grieving, bake cookies for local military families, greet soldiers at the airport. The list is endless. AARP's Create The Good has a toolkit to help military families maintain life as usual while their loved one is away. You can use this toolkit to help a family adjust to a new communtity. Giving your time to them can make a world of difference. It is up to you to make a conscious decision to make a difference; turn around! Lee Greenwood said it better than I could ever say it with his song, " God Bless the USA." The song plays at each Baltimore Ravens home game, and every time it takes my breath away and turns my thoughts to a place of gratitude and comfort.
"And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free, and I won't forget the men who died ,who gave that right to me and I'll proudly stand next to him to defend her still today, 'cuz there ain't no doubt I love this land, God Bless the USA."
So next year as we approach Memorial Day please, mourn, remember, but most of all give thanks for the ones who have given us the opportunity to grill out, picnic, boat or whatever it is you have the freedom to choose to do and God Bless the USA!
What did you do to honor those that gave their lives for us?
Photo credit mrsdkrebs
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