While we enjoy a day off from work, have fun at the picnics in the park, the backyard barbecues, and drive home safely from your camping trip. Remember the men and women who are sitting in foxholes on the other side of the world. Give a toast to those who gave their lives so we can be free. Forget the lopsided politicians throwing volleys of epithets at one another to get re-elected. Turn off the talk show hosts who spew venom through the airwaves. We can argue the merits of fighting in three wars (Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya). That's what makes us great. What we can't argue is the sacrifice that is made by the troops and their families who wait with worried breath. I think of my uncle who was taken from his freshman year in college to fight the Germans during World War II. He physically survived, but the mental scars were just as deadly. Think of the soldiers who lined up shoulder to shoulder and marched toward the enemy with bullets flying during the Civil War. Think of the troops at Valley Forge who didn't have proper shoes and died of frostbite, hyperthermia, and starvation.
Enjoy your hot dog and beer, but say a little prayer for those that made it possible to be free. To the troops, both present and past, thank you for your sacrifice so I can be free.