Memorial Day, of course, is a time when the nation pauses to remember veterans who have died while serving and protecting America. Their commitment to our country shall never be forgotten. I’m heartened when I see or hear of communities – often led by American Legion posts – coming together to reflect and remember our heroes.
These public celebrations are a great way to honor and remember the men and women we lost. But for many of us, the remembrances are personal and we offer quiet reflections to those we knew and mourn.
Perhaps you remember your battle buddy on Memorial Day.
Or, you honor a father, mother, sibling, spouse, child or cousin on this somber occasion.
Or you might pay tribute to any or all of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice so that Americans would live in freedom.
Even at this solemn time, there is also hope. Across our great nation, young people with boundless energy, enthusiasm and love of country will be graduating from our armed forces academies. Others will be graduating from high school or college, with eyes focused on joining the military.
My son, Jacob, will be among those graduates this month when he dons the cap and gown at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. I could not be more proud of Jacob, his classmates and others who are committed to a life of service.
We send them off with hugs and kisses, prayers, and perhaps a tear or two. We will worry every minute they are away from us. It’s what parents do.
But we are so proud of their courage, personal sacrifice and commitment. And most of all, we are proud of the way these young men and women will honor the memories of past generations of veterans who came before them.