I’ll admit it. I’m not the most patriotic person. I’ve been cynical and sarcastic. I’ve chanted make love, not war. I wanted to move to Canada after 9/11. But make no mistake, I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for those who volunteer their lives to protect our country.
Thankfully, I don’t know anyone who has died serving our country. But my Grandpa does. And my brother does. And my boyfriend does. I don’t know how I would fare waking up every morning with body aches and heart aches and mind aches, the constant reminders of actions done or seen that can never be undone or unseen. This choice to enter into the military is one of the most monumental sacrifices a person can make, not only during their time of service, but for the rest of their lives.
How can I even begin to say thank you? I thank my lucky stars every day I listen to NPR that I have the freedom to be cynical and chant my concerns. That I can send my children to school without fear of them being hit with shrapnel. That they can even go to school. How can I possibly demonstrate that I appreciate these freedoms and the men and women who give their lives so that I don’t have to?
Here’s a way to start.
It doesn’t cost you a thing. Sometimes the greatest gift you can give is time.
This Memorial Day, hug your loved ones a little bit tighter. Enjoy a margarita and a heated political conversation. Bask in the sun and the freedom of the beginning of summer. And then, tomorrow, find a way to say thank you. You can start HERE.