It's really easy to forget the meaning of federal holidays when the only immediate impact on your life is getting a day off work or school. It's only human to make it all about you and what you're doing for the long weekend. I tend to politicize it, reflect it back on my beliefs about war, and marginalize the importance because I believe that too often, our soldiers die in vain for some rich person's selfish desires.
But today I want to acknowledge those fallen soldiers that have given their lives to protect whatever version of freedom they believed in. I admire their pure selflessness, their courage, their sense of personal responsibility in securing that freedom. These are people who have been taught well, that they can't take freedoms for granted, can't assume that those things will always be there to fall back on.
In fact, on this day, I honor more than America's fallen soldiers. I honor the world's soldiers, the honorable combatants of belief. Although we ended up on different sides by chance, these soldiers are no less brave, no less worthy of admiration. In some cases, these soldiers were our comrades in arms, fighting alongside our soldiers, giving their lives for a cause that wasn't necessarily their own. In other cases, these soldiers were fighting against us. Does this make them any less worthy of honor? They fought for something they believed so desperately in that they would offer up their lives. I think that anyone who can back up their beliefs with their life is someone worthy of honor.
I'm not talking about terrorists, people whose actions are intended maliciously. Even in the American military, there are individuals who are not in it to fight for freedom or for a belief, but rather to kill and enjoy killing. These are not the people I honor.
On this day, I honor my Grandpa Kehres, a badass from the Air Force who gave of himself, who taught his family to give of themselves.
Who do you honor?