Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

Today our hearts and minds are with our friends who still serve, with those we knew and loved who served and gave their lives, and with the military members and their families who, on a daily basis, accept the large and small sacrifices that are part of being a soldier.

These are people who know that at any time they can be asked to leave their family for weeks or months to fill needs around the world. They work long hours, taking on enormous responsibility, and yet make lower salaries than many of their peers. They move regularly, uprooting their families from friends and school at least every three years. And every one of them realizes that, should they be asked, they could be sent to a combat area where they will be at risk 24 hours a day. Meanwhile their families love and support them, fear for them and hope for them. They take on extra burdens when the service member has to leave, including the burden of uncertainty and concern.

We give one day - a day that is usually spent with friends and family enjoying a day off. And that's the way it should be, because being able to do that, being able to plan a picnic or a day trip is a simple pleasure we all take for granted. We can, because of the thousands of people who make it possible. We enjoy a lot of freedoms, but one of the most important is freedom from fear. Whatever your opinions on the current situations, whatever the motivation that got us there in the first place, it is an achievable goal to help the people of Iraq and Afghanistan establish the framework to someday enjoy that same freedom.

To our friends who are out there now - we love you, we're thinking of you, today and every day. And thank you.

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