On Memorial Day

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I think we tend to forget – or I do, at least – just how difficult this weekend may be for families and brothers or sisters of a fallen soldier. There is no anguish quite like the anguish felt by a soldier that has lost the man at his side. Perhaps this can only be eclipsed by what a parent feels after the loss of a child.

A few months ago, I finally read Marcus Luttrell’s “Lone Survivor.” If you’ve seen the movie, you got only a taste of what the men of Operation Red Wings endured. You are introduced only to a sliver of the strength, honor, duty, and sense of brotherhood that made these men who they are.

I don’t believe it’s possible for someone like myself to fully understand what these men go through at the loss of a brother. I am confident that Memorial Day will never mean the same thing to me as it does them. Still, Luttrell’s last sentence hits the reader quite hard:

“This book is dedicated to the memory of Murphy, Axe, and Danny Boy, Kristensen, Shane, James, Senior, Jeff, Jacques, Taylor, and Mac. These were the eleven men of Alfa and Echo Platoons who fought and died in the mountains of Afghanistan trying to save my life, and with him I was honored to serve my country. There is no waking hour when I do not remember them all with the deepest affection and the most profound, heartbreaking sadness.”