When I was a child, we used to drive by the rows and rows of white headstones that cover the landscape at the Golden Gate National Cemetery. Even when I was very young, the sight gave me pause. I don’t remember now, if I prayed for those buried there but I know I thought about them long after the headstones were tiny specks in the distance. I always wanted to visit, I wanted to walk up and down the rows and read the inscriptions on the stones. I asked to stop many times but my parents didn’t take my requests seriously and I never got the chance. I surmise they thought it would be upsetting to me but I never felt that way. I simply wanted to walk there, to feel the atmosphere, to think inside the quiet blanket that surrounded the place. In my own way, I wanted to “talk” to the men who were buried there.
These days I think a lot about those who served and who are currently serving. I think about our fallen and I pray for them and the families/friends they leave behind. I think about how to conduct myself to best honor their service, their sacrifice and to show my gratitude in a concrete way.
On March 2nd 2012, I wrote the following
“This very day, this very hour someone is engaged in a life or death struggle on your behalf. Do not forget to be grateful and by extension show that gratitude by living so that your life is worth the price paid to protect it.”
That’s what I try to do each and every day. I try to make good use of the time I have. That’s because each day I’m given to do my work here is a gift paid for by somebody else.
Enjoy your time, hug your friends, hold your family close…be kind to each other…