Those close to me know my great love and respect for my former father in law, who unfortunately is no longer with us.
We spent hours sitting at his back yard while he smoked a cigar and told me his war stories, he always tried to make light of it as he told them in a very casual and matter of fact way.... but I could feel the deep sadness in his heart.
He was wounded trying to save his platoon and received several medals, including the Bronze Medal and a Purple Heart; all of which sat in a box and he never even mentioned it until I decided to frame them and give him the respect he deserved.
The medals meant nothing to him, the memories meant everything!
For all his life he carried the pain of seeing his friends die in combat, the guilt for being back home with his family while so many didn't return. They were young men, all from the same neighborhood, and some gave all.
I've learned a lot from Al through the years of spending those precious afternoons with him....
I've learned about friendship, resilience, honor, and patriotism. There is no glory in war, and oh....how I wish we would never have to fight another war again!
But there is glory in a soldier, in his love of Country, in his dedication to freedom, in his selfless acts to keep his brothers safe during battle, in his heart that aches forever tormented by the memories he has to carry, and in the ultimate sacrifice leaving behind loved ones as his body lies lifeless on the battle ground.
Hate the war, but love and respect the warrior, their sacrifice is for you, be thankful..!
On this Memorial Day let's have a moment of silence with our families and show our respect for the fallen, they've given way more than one minute of their lives for you.