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The Face of Memorial Day

May 27, 2012

By Lisa Hampton

Honor - public image - photographer unknown

Memorial Day weekend is usually packed with BBQs, picnics, fishing at the lake, the first camp-out of summer, and graduations across the country. All celebrations of life, of milestones made, of classes finished, of hard-work accomplished. But on Monday, as we gather with family and friends please keep this face of Memorial day in mind.

On this weekend I hope every American thinks about the love of his country that this handsome young boy’s father must have had. He is representative of all the children who have lost a parent to war. He represents all the family members who have felt that lose so keenly.

My own father was but a toddler when his mother received news that my grandfather’s ship had been sunk in the Pacific returning from a battle and that only a handful of survivors had been rescued. Although my grandfather was never found so that my father, grandmother and family could have a service, his loss was no less painful for them.

The young man in this photo had a father who gave up his life in a battle that we sent him to fight. He wasn’t a Marine because he needed a job and he wasn’t a hero because he needed a college degree on America’s dime. He was something more than most of us could ever hope to be…and all Americans need to be able to look this child in the eyes and tell him that we truly honor his father and we will NEVER take his sacrifice for granted.

Americans owe him nothing less.

I have been to a full military funeral for a Marine who gave his life recently in Afghanistan and I know the same scene as is in the photo above has played out many times across America.

This young boy has a long road ahead but he is holding his head up and making his father proud…now we need to make his father proud of us.

Stand up America and on this Memorial Day and remember what it is about our country that is worth dying for, and NEVER for one moment forget those who have sacraficed for it.

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