As Memorial Day weekend comes to a close--I can't help but reflect the true meaning of the day. Veterans Day celebrates all the brave men and women who dedicated part of their lives to fight for the freedom we celebrate everyday and made it home. But Memorial Day is to remember all of our brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice--their lives. This is truly humbling to think that someone went off to defend our freedom or the freedom of another country with the faith that they were doing the right thing. This sacrifice not only took their lives but changed the lives of their families forever.
I have had the honor of teaching many young people who have chosen to defend my freedom. What a proud and honorable choice. And I thank them. But the hardest day of my teaching career was when I lost a former student in Iraq. February 1, 2007 we were told that Army Cpl. Stephen Shannon was killed in Iraq. It was the day when Memorial Day took on a very deep new meaning. Stephen was a great young man who was proud of joining the Army. His sacrifice will always make this day about remembering a great person who had the biggest smile, was a truly kind person with a fun personality and was willing to give his life so I can be safe.
So I challenge all of you to not forget the true meaning of this day and to not waste a minute--live by Stephen's example--his inclusion and kindness is a lesson we should all strive a better person! God Bless.
For more details about Stephen check out these articles: