I always loved the picture of my Uncle Willie in his Army uniform that was framed in their house. I remember looking at it as a child and being told the story of why he was awarded a Purple Heart. It was truly an act of valor. 

I remember seeing pictures of most of my uncles in military uniforms. 

I remember the day my Uncle Ernest came home and the fire trucks and police cars greeted him with their sirens. I learned that there was a war in the Gulf that day. 

I remember my teacher Mr. McKinzie wearing a bracelet with his friend’s name on it because he hadn’t returned home yet. I remember doing hours of research and prep to put on the first Veteran’s Day program out middle school ever had. 

I remember when each of my brothers left for basic training, and I remember when each returned from war forever changed by what they saw. One could barely begin to discuss what he saw or the friends he lost. 

Before one came home, he was seriously wounded. We didn’t get to know where he was so we just watched the news listening for major fighting. I remember when my mom got the call saying he was wounded and how scared we all were. 

No matter how you feel about war, you are free to feel that way because someone fought or fought and died for you to have the right to.

I have always liked the quote, “All gave some but some gave all!” The truth is that everyone who faces that fight gives up something in themselves that will never be the same. 

Always remember and be thankful for those who died in battle and for those whose battle will never be over in some ways. 

Be thankful beyond having an extra day in your weekend to grill. Be thankful enough to stop and remember what Memorial Day is really about. It’s not about that at all, and losing sight of what others have done for you is one of the worst kinds of selfishness anyone can operate in. 

Remember because they all deserve to the remembered.