When I was traveling last week to the East Coast to visit some friends, I noticed many soldiers traveling as well. I do not know if they were leaving to defend our country or finally coming home. But as I saw soldier after soldier, some in uniform, one or two on crutches with their military bags, each one dedicated to a great cause, I was vividly reminded of their sacrifice. And as I remember this day eight years ago, my thoughts are directed toward our brave soldiers; men and women, young and old, who place their lives on the line every day. They leave home, family and their life behind them as they valiantly defend you and me.
As I traveled, however, I was also somewhat saddened. My dad kindly booked me a first class seat for my trip, which I greatly appreciated. But as I looked from those around me seated in first class to those men in uniform walking back to coach, I was saddened. They were the ones who should have been first on that plane. Sitting in first class. Being honored for what they have done. I wish I could have given up my seat for them... and I wonder if America, or myself, fully grasps what they have done for us.
When one of them perishes in the line of duty... when we hear of another attack in Iraq or Afghanistan... do we think about the life that was cut down? I am ashamed to say I seldom think of the life that was lost; of the mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, children, grandparents and friends who are grieving; of the great sacrifice that was made. I know I cannot begin to relate to the sorrow of those families or the sacrifice of those men... but I hope that I--and all of us--can at least remember, be thankful for and honor those who gave their all.