If it’s the last week of May, then it must be another Memorial Day. The unofficial start of summer. The point when schools close and pools open. A time when, according to some fashion critics, we can once again start wearing white pants.
Memorial Day is the signal that we Americans can do what we love doing best. Celebrate all things Americana, a right given to us by those who died in the pursuit of our freedom.
I am struck by this week of remembrance by a memory that’s almost exactly 10 years old, but as vivid as though it only happened yesterday.
On May 3 of 2007, a very dear friend of mine, Anne Adkins, received a knock on the door at 9:30 p.m. that no mother of a soldier wants to hear. Her son Mathew, who was as patriotic as the day was long, was killed in action during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Matt was doing a voluntary second tour of duty in Iraq when the IED took his life.
Matt was a great son, an even better brother to Emma, and the finest type of American Patriot there is. He knew the dangers he was facing, but he also knew it was his calling to fight for our freedom.
Ten years later, we all still grieve for Matt’s death, as well as the hurt and pain his loss still has on those who knew and loved him most.
Consider this: The story of Matt’s courage and his family’s grief is just one of millions of stories that can be told. We get to plan family vacations and summer activities thanks to all who literally gave it their all for us. One day a year is just not enough time to remember and pay tribute.
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