The individual we have interviewed to honor this up coming Memorial Day will remain anonymous due to professional/business circumstances.
We asked this individual, "What does Memorial Day mean to you? Why do you think it's important? How do you honor this day, and Why do you think the meaning of Memorial Day has become truly unrecognized for it's actual beloved meaning?"
"On memorial day weekend, it is important to take a pause to recognize the lives of service members that were lost throughout American history - and to appreciate the levels of bravery that thrive in the face of it. It is important for us to understand that throughout our history, teams of brave men and women continued their missions, perhaps after having seen their team members flag draped caskets prepared to depart theatre. Even so, they continued on despite the racks of their team members suddenly left empty, their presence in a pack now void. Families presented with flags - in place of the intense embrace of their cherished person. Before policy changes to prevent this, there were parents who lost all of their children in battle; there were wars that ruptured the growth in a family tree because multiple members of extended families never returned. There any many who came back, but were not able to fully recover from their injuries or became sick from the conditions they were exposed to during service. Memorial day is about taking time to remember not only these men and women - but also their families and their sacrifices.
Women have always been involved in military service - in some way. It has only changed over the years. The recognition of these roles have and continue to evolve. In more recent decades, a lot of education has occurred capturing and honoring their roles. Even so, the loss of women in service has become even more real with their integration in areas of service previously closed to females. A lot has been done to ensure the sacrifice of women is better captured - that work is still growing. However, the reality of that can still knock the wind right out of you - even as a former female active duty service member. We go through training, "kit up," become proficient in weapons in addition to our technical skill, and go through additional training if our positions demand it. Even so, when you follow the stories, as in the recent loss of Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent, United States Navy, KIA January 2019 while conducting missions in Syria; you quickly find yourself thinking about her family. She had a husband and two young children. While it is natural and positive to consider this aspect of loss, even as a woman who served, I have had to remind myself that Senior was technically and tactically proficient; capable in 7 languages; experienced AF; an expert shot; and down to get her hands dirty and get missions done. When we honor women in service, certainly we must honor the sacrifices they made and that their families made for this mission. We must also think of the women we lose as Sailors, Marines, Airmen and so forth.They earned and wore their titles in life and in death."
THANK YOU TO ALL WOMEN AND MEN WHO HAVE SERVED AND WILL CONTINUE TO SERVE OUR COUNTRY.