Yesterday, I painted my toenails red, white and blue. The kids think they are awesome. This morning, I put up the flag on the front of my house. The kids were excited. I read numerous expressions of gratitude on Facebook. I talked to my boys about the holiday. It felt good to celebrate. It felt good to mark the day as special.
Tonight, I took time to remember what it felt like to be an Army wife on Memorial Day. I remember the fear I felt- the fear that one day I would observe Memorial Day differently, as a widow.
Tonight, I thought of those that have lost everything in the name of service.
Tonight, I found this special by CNN: Home and Away
It's a powerful tool to see just how many lives have been lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you click on a specific month, the map shows the hometown locations of those that died. You can see how many people died each month from 2001-2010. You can search for a specific name. You don't have to know someone that's died to be powerfully touched by the sheer numbers. It shows 2,469 casualties for Afghanistan and 4,771 for Iraq. Each number has a name, a face, a hometown and loved ones.
So tonight, I honor those that have died in Iraq and Afghanistan by praying for their loved ones.
I am forever grateful.