One of our more important holidays in the US, Independence Day, is coming up in a couple more weeks. Growing up in a small town in Iowa, each 4th of July, we were treated to a parade of Veterans from WWII and Korea. All told there were maybe 50 or 60 men, who were dressed in "used to fit" uniforms, following our colors down main street. By today's standards it would be considered small potatoes, but to us who stood and saluted as our colors passed by, it was a parade as big as they come.
On the benches along main street were all of the farm Moms and Dads who had seen their sons march off to war for too many generations. At the time I had little understanding of veterans, their families, and the combat that these men had been through in some far off and at one time unpronounceable country. Unfortunately I learned first-hand in SE Asia all about being in Harm's Way. My time in Viet Nam has given me a much deeper understanding of what an Independence Day Parade means and the knowledge that FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.
Because of this fact, it is important that each of us take a few minutes during our 4th of July back-yard barbecue and remember those who follow our colors down some parade route. More importantly we need to remember all of those who could not join their comrades in arms.
May their souls rest in peace.