Now that I am a mom, and my boys are growing up like weeds… As I begin to see a montage of photos every time a new plateau is reached, a new grade level finished, a new skill achieved, a new emotional depth seen, I am closer and closer to these little boys that are my very own. I have been part of their presence on this earth, and I will continue to see them grow into manhood each day. Some days it’s too close for comfort as I wonder what they will do, what they will achieve, how they will touch the world they live in. I hope that they are able to impart great compassion, great strength, and live comfortably in their beautiful minds.
And on this day we celebrate the men and women who have served our country, who have given their lives for our country, I am humbled. I am overwhelmed. I am stunned at the sacrifice their families have made, that they have made. I am honored that they have chosen to make these sacrifices, and I am grateful beyond words. But I am still overwhelmed and buried by the tidal wave that covers me when I think of losing a child to war. It is even harder because I don’t believe in war. I don’t know many people who do. And yet it continues to play through history like the great equalizer, making people of all races and demographics into fighting machines in order to give birth to, the great irony, freedom. I never to cease to be amazed by the great sadness and loss, that goes into the birth of freedoms.
And so today, I had to write something because there were all these emotions as I see the posts people put on facebook and twitter. I am brought to tears because of the picture of the man without legs leaning over the grave. And although it touches anyone who sees it, anyone who is willing to grapple with the magnitude of serving our country in life or by giving one’s life, we can never truly comprehend it. And so today, I give a special shout, a special whisper, a quiet “thank you”, to the families, to the wives, to the children, to the aunts, uncles, grandparents, nieces, nephews… But I give the deepest bow of respect to the parents of children, of men and women, of those caught between childhood and adulthood, who have given their lives and their service for our freedoms. Today I think of you too.