“At ease…”

It’s Memorial Day weekend in the United States where we get to enjoy a three-day weekend. And I plan to enjoy mine after several busy months. I plan to get caught up on long-standing paperwork and yardwork and perhaps enjoy a relaxing day in the spa.

But I also plan to stop and remember those who made this weekend of leisure possible, the brave men and women who serve in our Armed Forces.

I’ve never served in the Armed Forces or experienced combat, but I know from history and art how horrific war is. I know about the terrible things weapons can do to a person, and how they can rip apart body and mind. I know about the relentless terror and loneliness that courses through a soldier. I’ve also seen what war can do to ordinary citizens caught in its crossfire. We Americans should consider ourselves fortunate that we escaped foreign invasion and occupation as countries in Europe did in twentieth century. We are lucky that we were spared persistent enemy attacks as London suffered during the Blitz in World War II.

It is because of our brave men and women in uniform that we’ve been protected from the horrors of war. They’re why Pearl Harbor and 9/11, though terrible, were one-time attacks and not a continuous state of terror. They risk their lives far away from home so we can sleep comfortably and peacefully in bed at night.

So, as you enjoy your weekend, take a moment and thank those who made it possible.