As some of you might remember from the post where I revealed 13 things about myself, I am very patriotic. So while we are all enjoying the warmer weather and the long weekend, let's take a minute to remember why today is a national holiday. Memorial Day was started after the Civil War to honor Union soldiers. After WWI, it was expanded to include American casualities of any war or military action (information from Wikipedia. Shh! Don't tell anyone. Librarians hate Wikipedia).
Yesterday my local paper was full of stories of veterans remembering their fallen comrades and honoring them in different events around the country. One story in particular really touched me. I will admit I had tears in my eyes while reading it. At Riverside National Cemetery in California 300 volunteers will read the names of the 148,000 veterans buried there. This roll call of the dead will be read aloud over 10 days - day and night. And some time today, they will read the last name on page 2,465. I am humbled by this. I am even more humbled by the fact that one of these volunteers, Jon Landaker, is the father of 26 year old Jared Landaker, who is buried at Riverside National Cemetery. Jared was a Marine helicopter pilot who was killed on his last mission - one week before he was scheduled to come home. This breaks my heart. So, please take a moment today to remember Jared and all the other military personnel who gave their lives so we can be free. And sometime today while you are enjoying the day off, take a moment to tell your kids about the reason that they have a day off from school today. It's important that we teach them the importance of honoring those who have the made the ultimate sacrifice. And to those of you who have lost a loved one during military service or have a loved one serving in the military, I thank you for your sacrifice as well and I wish you peace.
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