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On Memorial Day we remember and talk about warriors who have died to protect our country. We talk about their sacrifices, but sometimes we don’t think about specific ones. Death is the obvious sacrifice, but these people also sacrificed their families and some of their own freedoms so we can peacefully live with ours.

Throughout the years and years of U.S. existence, men and women have given up their peaceful lives in exchange for battle so that those they loved, and even strangers, could enjoy further peace. When the cry for help came, they answered. When the fight for freedom demanded to be fought, they joined the battle. When the maintenance cost for freedom came due, they rose up to pay it.

These men and women have always been people just like us, people with regular civilian jobs, lives, and families. But they left these all behind to protect all that they were leaving behind. The family that they wanted to be there for, they left them behind to protect them and other families. They left a peaceful life at home behind to be sure it would still be there later, whether they got to see it or not. They left friends behind. They lost friends on the battlefield. They had spouses they wanted to grow old with, children they wanted to raise, dreams they wanted to accomplish. They gave all these up, they sacrificed them, to be sure that someone else could continue to have them.

You and I enjoy peace and freedom because of all those who have sacrificed home, family, peace, safety, and life itself.

More reading:
Thinking about Memorial Day
Forgotten Memorial
Memorial Day Musings
In Memory of Sacrifice
Grateful for Freedom