“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.” – Gen. George S. Patton
I spent last week sightseeing in Washington, D.C. By sightseeing, I really mean I lost my mind over everything. I’m a huge patriot. I’m definitely not going to say that America is flawless – I’m not proud of every single thing that has happened here. But I’m very proud to be an American and admire many of the people who worked so hard to make this country a home for us. I love problem solving, and I study public policy because smart government decisions can make life better for so many Americans. I have a deep admiration for those who made personal sacrifices and shaped this country for the better.
We got the chance to visit Arlington National Cemetery right before Memorial Day, which was incredible. So many people buried there died young. Every spot of white marble against the bright grass was someone’s husband, wife, parent, or child. Each grave was decorated with an American flag, put there by a fellow soldier. The amount of respect our soldiers have for one another is awe-inspiring and particularly evident at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is voluntarily guarded 24/7, 365 days a year, in all weather.
I wish all citizens showed that same level of respect for their soldiers. As Lt. Gen. Hal Moore said, “hate war, but love the American warrior!” This weekend means the start of summer, the return of white pants and dresses to our closets, and barbecues. But should Memorial Day be synonymous with celebrations? For grieving spouses and kids growing up without a parent, it’s not about the barbecue.