Like many great men, my Grandfather fought in WWII, but part of him never came back. Our family lost him some short time after to suicide while he was out hunting. Men like my Grandfather are not very honored for their sacrifice because of how they had fallen, no matter how many medals they had decorating their uniform. Their families are left with no assistance, no insurance, most are stripped of honors and many looked at them in shame. So it is for my Grandfather and the countless men and women who have taken their lives during and after service (a number that has become a huge concern for our country) that I write this on Memorial Day.
You are not forgotten, nor lost in our minds. Your sacrifice for us is no less, nor cowardly, than those men who kept walking. Now it is the generations that you have left behind that carry on that walk for you; like my Father, my siblings and my sons for my Grandfather. No one can truly know what you have battled, but we can remember what you have given. We can remember that you lived, that you fought bravely and that you had given more than your life – just as all soldiers give more than their lives for us.
Thank you for standing when our country needed you, even for what it cost in the end.
I never got to meet my Grandfather, but I got to know him by the pieces of life that he left behind. Honor has nothing to do with how a person has died, but how a person had lived. I hope we can all remember that today.