This past Memorial Day the family and I hiked up first sergeants hill as we’ve done for the past 2 years now. It became a way for my husband to process rather than make sense of losing those he call brothers. Brothers born in the adversity of war. Of shared experiences that very few are privileged and at the same time unfortunate to be a part of.
Like many others in this country Memorial Day for me was chance at a three day weekend. A chance to barbeque and spend time with family. Even after marrying my Marine it didn’t change much and I didn’t understand why he didn’t want to join in the festivities (an eye roll is appropriate here). However last year it changed. A marine my husband served with who at the time was married to a friend I love dearly took his life. I was shock to my core.
I realize then that I could have been making that call to her. Those men who fought alongside him and give their lives became real people to me. It finally dawned on me what they had sacrifice. I experienced a mustard seed of the pain his family must have felt and could no longer excuse my ignorance. Cherry, Lopez, Contreras, Ayon, Otey, Carmen, just to name a few became my brothers. I ached for the family and decided that going uphill was the least I could do to show their family that their sacrifice mattered and that I am grateful for their actions. That I preserving my freedom they give the ultimate sacrifice. John 15:13 “greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Maybe next year for you it be a will somber and reflective Memorial Day.