On Main Streets across America this weekend, Memorial Day will be commemorated by parades, often with three generations of veterans leading the march. They will serve as reminders of the thousands of men and women who have served their country.
While the war in Afghanistan infrequently makes front-page headlines there are still many young Marines and soldiers serving there, many on their second, or third or even fourth deployments. The U.S. ended the draft in 1973, switching to an all-volunteer military service. Since 2001, one of the hardest decisions for a parent to accept is an adult child joining the military since it will surely bring deployment to a war zone. Most military moms I’ve known—no matter what their political persuasion— support their sons and daughters in every way possible, from home-baked cookies sent to a remote outpost, to cases of hand-warmers for cold nights on watch, to 80,000 cans of Silly String. That was the case a few years ago when Michelle Shriver heard from her soldier son, stationed in Iraq, that the party favors could be used to detect trip wires on bombs. Ms. Shriver made it her mission to gather all Silly String she could store in her New Jersey garage and then ship to Iraq.
Amid all the barbeques and bathing suits sales, let’s take a few minutes this Memorial Day to remember, once again, those who serve as well as those who wait and pray for their safe return. As we noted last year in our Memorial Day post, we particularly remember three young men who were killed in Iraq. The three are alumni of my sons’ alma mater, Chaminade High School: James Regan, Michael LiCalzi and Ronald Winchester.
Also to repost a moving piece: “On Memorial Day, Remember the Mothers, Children, Wives and Lovers Too,” recalls the stories of several young men and those they left behind including the fiancé of James Regan. Politics Daily writer Donna Trussell notes
And for every soldier, there is at least one grieving mother, friend, sister, lover or wife on the home front who will do what Mary McHugh said in the eulogy for James Regan: “I will wake up every morning for the rest of my life and thank God for the opportunity to have loved and been loved by you.”
So this Memorial Day, let us remember the soldiers lost in wars past and present, and those who live with that loss every day