For most of my life Memorial Day was my biggest and most important holiday. My Father, Step-Father and two of my brothers being Veterans and all. Three out of four of those veterans have as William Shakespeare once wrote, have shuffled off this moral coil. While none did so in combat, all three of them did so long before their days should have ended.
My Step Father passed away in 1996 at the age of 58 from non smoking related COPD and emphysema (he was a victim of Agent Orange exposure during the Vietnam War).
My Father passed away in 2001 at the age of 61 from lung cancer, (also non smoking related)
My younger brother passed away in 2006 at the age 43 from Brain Cancer.
Veterans Day is still an important holiday to me, sadly it now holds a much more painful aspect than it did during my youth.
I took up the family obligation to organize and execute a BBQ/Grill event back in 1990, and did so every year on Memorial Day in remembrance of all of those who had served in the United States Military right up until 2010. Unemployment has a way of ruining such expenditures. For the last 3 years instead of being the moving force behind our Veterans Day celebration I have been a spectator. It breaks my heart, but it is what it is.
Today will be no different than the last three years. I will visit with friends who are Veterans (yes I have quite a lot of those, most of my friends in fact are Veterans). If you have relatives who are Veterans, or friends who are Veterans, please take time today to contact them, to let them know that their service is appreciated and remembered.