Today is of course Memorial Day, and in my opinion it is the second most important public holiday in the American calendar. It is a day of deep solemnity and, for far too many American families, terrible, aching sadness.
Take a trip to any American national cemetery today and you will get some small idea of the true cost of this wonderful gift of FREEDOM that you and I enjoy.
The freedom to live in peace, to raise our families without the threat of war and all of its horrors hanging over our heads, to read and write and learn dangerous things, to become whoever we want to be, is ours- because of them.
But this isn't just a day of sadness and remembrance, as vitally important as those things are. It is also a day to give thanks to those who embody the ancient truth that "the noblest fate that a man can endure is to place his own mortal body between his loved home and war's desolation".
To that end- here is one of my all-time favourite videos, showing soldiers coming home to surprise their loved ones:
I remember seeing this video almost a decade ago thanks to Supreme Dark Lord Vox Day (PBUH). Good luck trying to get through that without... well, getting quite emotional. I watch that video several times a year and I've never managed it. And nor should one be expected to do so.
This Memorial Day, let us give thanks to those who fought and died for the rest of us, so that we can enjoy this most divine gift of freedom. They ennoble us; the very least we can do is remember them.
God bless them all.