It seemed like an oxymoron. What's so happy about it? Celebrate? Huh? Sometimes I still don't get it - because of what this day is. So I have spent a lot of time thinking about it, reading what others had to say, trying to decide how I really felt.
Because today is a day that we honor them. We honor those who gave all. We honor the families whose heroes came Home too soon. We honor the widows and widowers, the children who do not get to hug their mommy or daddy again. Today is a day to honor, to remember, but to celebrate?
And then I really thought about it, really tried to see all of the sides of it, and I remembered the funeral of one of C's fallen friends.
'That is what I want," he paused, "if its ever me," C said after he finished telling me what Nick's family had done the days before his funeral. It was hard to think about, harder to hear him say. My body cringed.
Nick's family celebrated his life. Celebrated his service. Through the tears, and the pictures, and the videos of him jumping out of planes and parachuting with West Point's team, they celebrated his journey. They shared stories and laughed and cried and honored him.
And on this day - this weekend - we celebrate our freedoms, our country. We celebrate the men and women who have afforded us these things. So as you BBQ and celebrate and enjoy this time with your family and friends, celebrate their lives too. Their lives that were freely given so that yours could continue as you want it to. Honor their families who will struggle through this day. Remember them.
Pause, raise your beer, and remember them.
We have asked everything of them; they have asked nothing of us -
But to remember.