On Memorial Day, I will remember your death.I will honor the life you willingly traded to protect mine. I will pause to try to feel your family’s grief.I will gather with others to make sense of your sacrifice. When I listen to a 21-gun salute and sing the national anthem, I will try to imagine the last kisses, hugs, tears and words you shared with your loved ones.
On Memorial Day, I will give thanks for your pride, strength and courage to wear the military uniform and for your determination and commitment to carry out your mission. I will encourage my friends to honor your life past Memorial Day. I will remind them that this “holiday” comes at a cost: your death.
On Memorial Day, I will do all of that, though how I wish I didn’t need to.
May you rest in peace, soldier.
Sgt. Hector Ortiz, US Army
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