Yesterday as I got into the car, I took a moment to change the radio station to Sunday music. I hit 100.3 on the dial in time to catch the first chorus of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, one of the most stirring pieces of music ever composed. I paused to appreciate the DJ's selection, so fitting for this holiday, and then I glanced in my rearview mirror. Walking down the street right behind me was an elderly man in full military uniform, his brisk stride exactly matching the cadence of the song. That moment seemed perfectly created for me, a glimpse of the pride of America and all this country stands for.
I was blessed to grow up surrounded by wonderful people who taught me the importance of appreciating where I came from. Those people were my grandparents, and I thank them for being such stalwart examples to me of lives of faith and dedication. I extend that appreciation to all those who came before me who marked the path and gave me clear direction, and of course, my thoughts naturally turn to those who have perished in the service of our country. Regardless of our many different political affiliations, I think we can all agree that those men and women truly gave their all and we are blessed for what they have done. It's because of those men and women that we are allowed to believe as many different things as we do, to root for our favorite candidates, and to publicly express so many viewpoints about the state of the union.
So on this Memorial Day, I'd like to pay tribute to all those who gave their lives and all those who came before, from pioneers to immigrants (mine are from Norway, Wales, and England, primarily) who started branches of our family trees here, to grandparents and parents. May we all live up to the legacies we've been given, and may we all have the guts to leave legacies of our own.