Over the last 240 or so years, many thousands of young men and women have decided that there was something out there that mattered more than themselves. More than their hopes and dreams, more than life itself. They left behind home, family, friends, and the familiar to fight for their country. From the American Revolution, The War of 1812, the American Civil War, two world wars, Korea, Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm, through the current global war on terror, and countless smaller operations throughout the world, they have fought and died so that Americans and others can enjoy the freedoms we have.
They left behind mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends and children in the hope that they and their loved ones could have a better country and World to live in. Although many of them came home to enjoy that life, many others gave the ultimate sacrifice for us. They forever rest in cemeteries throughout the world, or in the fields or seas where they fell.
My family has been blessed, the nearest relative I have lost is one of my grandfather’s cousins, Harry Peter Holdmann, killed in action in the Second World War, 36 years before I was born. I thank the Lord that we can remember the service of many other family members and friends on November 11th, instead of today. But that thankfulness is tinged with sadness, knowing that many families have lost loved ones.
So this weekend, take a few minutes away from the barbecues and family gatherings to remember those who can’t be here, and to be grateful to them, and those who loved them.