I grew up like so many of my generation being enamored with the likes of Superman, Batman, Ironman, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, etc. Every month I would purchase the newest issues with my allowance or money from my paper route and I’d spend Saturday morning reading each and every one of them over and over again. Then I would get together with my friends and we’d trade our new comic books and do the same thing. We did it because we loved the idea of having Superheroes.
In between our mythical characters being idolized as our heroes, we would turn our attention to athletes such as Willie Mays, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Wilt Chamberlain and so forth. It never really dawned on us that as much as we’d idolize factious characters and athletes as people that we’d look up to, that we had heroes that were all around us every day. We had parents that got up every morning and went to work and put in a hard day quite often under very difficult conditions and sometimes hazardous conditions, and yet they did it because they had our small mouths to feed. We thought about them maybe on mother’s day or father’s day, but the other 365 days a year they were only our parents.
Then as we got older and became parents ourselves, we suddenly developed an appreciation for what our parents did for us, while seeing our own children idolizing others as heroes. However, there are those of us even now as adults seem to overlook those who are truly the real heroes among us. I am talking about people like the Police officers, and Fire fighters, teachers, and those who are in the medical professions who place themselves in harms way for us for a living. We somehow seem to take them for granted. They do not get the honor that they deserve, until we find ourselves in a crisis.
I recently went by the Veteran’s Memorial in New Jersey and I noticed there were people there. A number of them were taking turns having their pictures taken standing in front of this huge statue of an army soldier. These individuals from their appearance and language were not native born Americans. My first instinct was to think that this was odd, but I quickly realized that quite often it is sometimes those who are outside of the forest that can see things more clearly than those of us who live within the forest.
Many of our parents and fore parents served in various branches of the military and some saw live action while others served in those vital supportive roles. When I saw this monument and noticed soldiers carrying a wounded soldier not leaving anyone behind, it became clear to me that they had one another’s back (6). Plus there are so many families that are home and they’re keeping the home front together, watching children, and trying to provide a normal environment and making ends meet financially that in most cases are just as difficult and stressful as the brave men and women who are serving overseas. Many spouses actually struggle because there’s simply not enough money to meet a young family’s needs.
Yet, our brave men and women still go and serve and a number of them have made the ultimate sacrifices for God, Country and their families. We send them off on planes and ships and a few of them come back in metal boxes, paralyzed or without limbs, or even with severe burns. Quite often most of them come back with scars that we don’t see. These issues and more make a number of them and their families both casualties of war.
While I was at the monument, I noticed this gentleman in his own quiet and reverent way, honoring those who have died in battle for our great nation. I couldn’t help but try to capture that moment with my camera. I heard a voice of a woman (his wife) asking me, “what are you going to do with that picture?” I told her I will post it on my website, because I want to honor him for honoring them. During this Memorial Day weekend, many will go to the beach and enjoy themselves, others will have cook outs and spend precious time with family and friends. My prayer will be with those who have to endure the holiday thinking about those who never came home from battle the same way that they left. My thoughts are with those who can take the time to visit the gravesite and lay a flower or reef on the grave while wiping away the tears. My tears will be for the hundreds of thousands of children who have to now grow up without a parent?
This country would not be as great as it was and is without the sacrifices and the services rendered by those in our military. From the very first militia that took up arms to defend the birthing of our country, and all of those who answered the call to arms throughout the centuries on through till this very moment. They realized there was a price to be paid for our freedom, and they chose to pay it because… “the cost of freedom is not free.”
What makes me angry along with so many other true red blooded Americans is that there are powers that be, that are working behind the scenes to take away that freedom from every American. But what’s more of a problem is that we’re so used to having our freedom that we quite often don’t believe that losing it is possible. Those who want to make America a Socialist country and change who and what we are want to take away our rights to free speech, the right to bear arms, the right to due process, to own property and run our own businesses and all of those things that are guaranteed to us by the U.S. Constitution. All of these things and more are now under attack and it seems as though we’ve fallen asleep.
If we don’t wake up and realize who the bad guys “really” are, (and it’s not whom the fake news mainstream media says they are) then one day we’ll wake up and find out that all of our rights will have been taken away with only an elite few calling the shots. And what’s even worse would be, that the price that was paid by those brave men and women over the years, by your loved ones would have been paid in vain. No one minds dying and loosing in the midst of battle fighting for what they believe in, but it would be a damn shame if we simply just gave up our country without a fight. Don’t let the sacrifices of our loved ones be in vain.
God Bless America, and God Bless those who serve in our Armed forces defending us.