Monday is Memorial Day. Most of us will spend the day with friends and family. There will be bar-b-ques, volleyball, picnics. The kids will enjoy having a day off from school and parents will be happy for a day off from work. But the meaning of Memorial Day involves more than coolers, hibachis and beach chairs. It is a day meant to honor the memories of the men and women who have given their lives for this country.
I am happy to report that the internet has become an incredible means to honor our fallen heroes. For all the false reports, gossip and mudslinging that clogs the web, there are also people who are dedicating their time and resources to memorializing those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and safety. Do a quick search for tributes to the fallen or Memorial Day and you will find a number of sites that share stories and memories of the brave men and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I learned about Julio Cesar Cisneros Alvarez, a 23 year old Marine who loved to dance and had a wonderful smile and who gave his life in Iraq. There is Kenny Bostic who was only 21 when he was killed in Iraq. Kenny has served in Afghanistan in 2004 and then volunteered to deploy to Iraq in 2006. I read a moving tribute about Private First Class Dean R. Bright, a 33 year old soldier who was killed in Iraq. He left behind a wife and two children. Months before he was killed, Dean risked his life to rescue a fellow soldier from a burning Bradley. He was awarded the Bronze Star with a Combat V for his actions. Marine Sgt. Adam Cann was 23 years old when he and his K-9 partner Bruno were in Ramadi, Iraq in January, 2006. Adam and Bruno were doing crowd control when a suicide bomber detonated himself and killed Adam.
I share these stories, and there are only a few, because it is important this Memorial Day that we put names to the number we see every night on the news. Those who have given their lives for this country deserve to have their names repeated and remembered in the halls of history. Our freedoms, our dreams, our hopes for the futures of our children are built upon the foundation of the sacrifices made by these great men and women.