I will always remember feeling pride and peace in my heart, knowing I live in a country where there are brave souls willing to valiantly protect and defend the lives of others in the name of freedom.
“You’re walking on hallowed ground,” our tour guide reminded us as we walked around Arlington National Cemetery. She offered the same reminder as we visited the World War II Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
Walking around in hushed silence, you can almost feel the energy, heart, soul and courageous spirit of those who sacrificed their own lives in order to protect and defend the lives of others.
I hold nothing but gratitude and respect for all these men and women. I don’t have the same courage and bravery as they had, but I know I will not fall short of expressing my gratitude and honoring the lives they gave in order for our lives to be free and meaningful.
How will I honor their memory? By remembering to rise and place my hand over my heart when our national anthem is played. I will look up to the flag with pride as it waves gently in the wind. I will recite the Pledge of Allegiance with conviction— meaning every word I say.
For all the freedoms we enjoy, the love we are able to share with family and friends, and all our dreams that came true and those yet to be fulfilled while living in this great country of ours—remember them and say “thank you.”