Monday is Memorial Day, and it is one of my favorite holidays. I grew up in a very patriotic family, so honoring our servicemen and women has always been a big part of my life. I had a great uncle who fought in the Korean War and another who fought in World War II. Both of them lived to tell about the horrors they witnessed.
War hit our family hard on May 19, 2012 when my cousin, Staff Sgt. Shane Barnard, was killed in Afghanistan. Shane was an EOD and died while diffusing a roadside bomb when a second device detonated. (The article can be found here.) He was supposed to be coming home to his family after multiple tours.
Before his death, I had the privilege of traveling to Washington, DC and visiting the Vietnam Wall, the Korean War Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery. If you have never been to any of these monuments, I highly recommend you do so.
The Vietnam Wall left me in tears. We found my dad’s friend’s brother’s name. He was only 18 when he was killed. The Korean War Memorial is cool, but nothing compares to Arlington National Cemetery.
Upon arriving at Arlington, I was rendered speechless. It is just so incredible. We were able to watch the changing of the guard at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The dedication these men have is awesome. I found myself in tears again. I came home from that trip with a whole new respect for the sacrifices our servicemen and women have made.
For today, I leave you with the song “Arlington” by Trace Adkins. Please remember to keep our fallen military members in your thoughts today.