I come from a long line of military men on my father’s side. In a little cemetery in Fairmont, West Virginia there are headstones for a number of Van Gilder men who served in the U.S. military, going back to the Revolutionary War. I had the opportunity to go that cemetery a few years ago for a family reunion and I was amazed to see so many military men noted.
I had not known that there was a member of our family serving in every war and conflict throughout the history of our country. I felt both awed and thrilled to be in such company.
It was also interesting to note that not one of those men died in combat. They all served their time in the military and were able to come home. It was the same for my brother in the Viet Nam era and my son in Desert Storm. But other families have not been so lucky.
So it is those families that I think about today with special care. They have sacrificed much to protect our country and the freedoms we espouse.
What about you? What does the holiday mean to you?