It used to be just like any other summer holiday, and like most Americans, we'd usually grill, maybe swim or take a bike ride, and enjoy our day off from work or school.
called Decoration Day, a day to commemorate those lost in the Civil
War, it was eventually changed to Memorial Day in 1967, to honor those
lost in all of our wars.
wasn't til 8 years ago that I really stopped to think what this
"holiday" was really about. Only 11 days before the Memorial Day of that
year, we learned that my cousin was shot and killed by a sniper in
Iraq. He was standing atop his tank, tossing candy to some Iraqi
children when the bullet hit him.
I was 15 and had never experienced a family loss, nor did I ever expect my
extended family to be the ones to feel the effects of war firsthand. I
caught a glimpse of what grieving families for centuries have endured
when startled with the news that their soldier would never come home.
In the 237 years America has been a free country, it has cost us over 1,309,000 lives.
Let us not forget the lives, and the families, who sacrificed so we can live free.