Johnny was scared.  He was cold, wet and very tired.  Lying in a field somewhere in Europe, he wasn’t exactly sure where he was.  Johnny was sick of seeing and smelling death.  The smoke from all the discharged ammo filled the air.  Then the word came down that they were going to attack the enemy up ahead.  Johnny knew the chances of him surviving the day were slim.

Johnny was 17 years old.  He quit school and left the family farm to enlist in the military.  He believed in the cause, and wanted to be there.  But he never imagined he would be in this situation.

Johnny heard that dreaded sound of the bugle, held his breath, jumped up and charged across the field…..

America has reached that time again when we stop our maddening schedules and spend some time honoring our military fallen.  As the spring turns to summer, we need to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice so we are free to celebrate the holiday.

America’s symbol, our flag, has covered our fallen since our country was formed.  This symbol, and the National Anthem, show the love and respect the country shows for these heroes.

The fallen are many, and their contribution can never be forgotten.  America owes so much to those who fell defending our country.

My fathers generation, considered to be the “greatest generation,” had the largest number of those who did not come home from their duty of service.  When that generation finished saving the world from all the crazies, they came home and rebuilt America.  That generation is almost all gone now, but there are still a few left.  Let’s remember them this weekend.  Some of these vets wear cloths that remember their service.  When you see someone dressed this way, stop them and talk to them.  They usually want to engage with people about their service and want to share their experience.  Oddly enough, they usually don’t talk about the fighting, but rather tell stories about their buddies.

My generation fought and died in Viet Nam.  Unfortunately, those soldiers did not come home to celebrations of their accomplishments.  I will not go into all the reasons for this, but those soldiers should also be remembered this holiday.

The current generation has fought the longest war in American history.  Al Qaeda and ISIS have proven to be much harder to defeat then opponents in other wars.  These brave young men and women have faces harms way and done all that has been asked of them.  When you see these brave, young men and women, you should stop them and thank them for their service.

This weekend, let us also remember others who have made sacrifices.  The families of our military.  This special group of Americans spend each day searching the news for word on what is happening in the part of the world where their loved one is stationed.  When someone pays that ultimate sacrifice, their family goes on without them.  They may have been the breadwinner for the family, but the rest must go on.  It seems their sacrifice never ends.  Let us remember these people also.

This weekend, let us all remember these great Americans and with reverence recognize their sacrifices.  Let us also celebrate what we have here at home.  As we spend time with friends and family, let us not forget how wonderful America is and why it is that way.

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