Today is Armed Forces Day, designated to salute the men and women who get out of bed every morning not knowing whether or not they will be called into battle. We owe them so much as they figuratively guard the ramparts, watching for threats to our reedom and willing to ride into the breach to defend us at a moment's notice.
We should all pause to thank them.
If you pass someone in uniform on the street or in the airport, tell them "Thank you for your service". You may worry that you will be disturbing them or invading their privacy. Please trust me. They appreciate the recognition.
Susanne and I have done this hundreds of times in our travels. We have never received any response that wasn't a heartfelt "thank you" in return, accompanied by a slight sense of surprise that anyone cares. We do care.
And next weekend we will commemorate those who not only risked their lives, but lost them in defense of your freedom. This Memorial Day, please take a break from the beer, barbecue and other family events to pause with your mind thankfully focused on their sacrifice.
God bless American and God Bless those who defend us.
By the way, many of you may not know of the valiant contributions of Native Americans in our nations defense. Many of them, most notably the Navajo Code Talkers' (reproduced here in their Marine Corps Dress uniforms as carved by Renzo Reed) were on the front lines during combat in WWII. They used their obscure Navajo (Dine') language to communicate about the enemy, information that was passed on to commanders. Because it was not a common language, the enemy was unsuccessful in translating it and breaking the codes.