On this special day, this special time of year, let us remember and be grateful for those who have gone before.

I am grateful for my many generations back grandfather William who fought for our freedom in the Revolutionary War. He and many others, sacrificed their comfort and risked their lives and their way of life to fight for their idea of real freedom. Their sacrifices bought them the beginnings of a free country and gave us that gift as well.

I am grateful for my Great Great Uncle Wilford who gave his life serving in France during World War I. And to his brother who also served in the Great War. Although Wilford was buried in France, his mother was comforted by his coming to her in her dreams and preparing her for the very sad news of his passing.

I am grateful for my Grandfather Murray who served our country during WWII. After he was drafted and had finished his quarantine which included weeks and weeks of marching, he discovered that he had been selected to serve as a secretary. Following quarantine, he moved his small family into a little Chula Vista trailer park where they lived while he typed memos for the Navy all day long near the military ports in San Diego.

I am grateful for my childhood neighbor, Bob, who went to Vietnam and fought for our country, not because he believed in the ideas he was fighting for, but because he was asked to.

I am grateful for my neighbor’s friend Seth who went and fought in Afghanistan and then was wounded in an IED explosion. He showed great courage while he served, and shows even greater courage now as he strives to live proud and free, each day working  to successfully manage a disability sustained while defending our country in a foreign land.

These and many more men and women have sacrificed so that we may remain free. Let us take this Memorial Day to remember and honor those who have gone before because they gave us and continue to give us the land of the free and the home of the brave. The land where we can enjoy a day at the beach, or a backyard barbeque or a swim in the pool and while doing so feel free and safe and happy.

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