It's Memorial Day and I can hear my husband grilling hotdogs for lunch. He stands in silence while our family moves in a whirl around him. Every now and then I hear the sweet voice of our four year old asking him a question. He'll take the briefest of pauses before answering and then goes back to making lunch.
I know that as easy as it has been for the rest of the world to forget, he will never forget the empty chairs. He will never forget the events of September 11th that moved him to join the Marine Corps. He will never forget the ones who didn't join him on the return flight home from Iraq. He will never forget the ones he's lost to their own hands.
In our home we have a beautiful American flag waiting to be hung in our entryway. On it is written the names of every Marine my husband served with overseas that first deployment. For too many, those names now stand in memoriam.
As he finishes cooking and flashes a smile my way, I am filled with gratitude. He's still here.
Today, we remember the ones who are not. Happy Memorial Day. May we find the courage to carry on a legacy of love, service, and integrity in honor of the fallen.