today is the day before memorial day. Diane and i went to Kansas City, Missouri to pick up my sister Joanne [jo.irish.rose] to spend the week here with us, as my siblings will all be together for the first time in 10 years. we arrived early as usual so we walked around the terminal people watching, browsing through little shops, and just killing time. Diane went into the restroom and i stood waiting for her. i noticed a pile of duffel bags all layed out in a corner. there were so many of them! as i looked closer, i saw about 6-7 soldiers sprawled among the bags partly hidden for privacy, laying in uncomfortable looking positions, asleep. they were in uniform which is what made them blend in with all the bags. i stood there, just looking in awe and my heart felt heavy as i was overcome with an intense feeling of pride, patriotism, and sadness combined. they were just kids, probably in their early 20's. they were some one's husband, brother, boyfriend, son, and friend. what kind of thoughts were going through their minds, what kind of fears could encroach the darkest of corners as they sleep... i suddenly realised they were here awaiting a flight to some unknown destination, they were bugging out. and it became clear that tomorrow while the rest of the country is sitting around a BBQ and drinking a cold one, these guys will have arrived at a hot and dangerous destination, where they will begin the work they set out to do. keeping our country free and safe. they will be laying their lives on the line simply because they feel a responsibility to be part of a group of people who will stand up for the rest of us who don't want to, and for those of us who cant. they have left behind people who love them, only to put them through trials and tribulations of worry and prayer that they come home safe and alive. we will be eating our grilled yummies and enjoying the serenity of our surroundings, watchin the kids run around and probably a game on TV.... while these men live in a hyper vigilant state of mind 24/7, as they are in unknown territory with crazy motherfuckers who would consider it glorious to kill them for no fucking reason at all. i was thinking that these sleeping heroes may never come home alive, and for what.....? they are willing to die for a love of people they will never know or meet, and for some who hate them and what they stand for.... and for too many who don't appreciate what they risk, yet there they go without the slightest hesitation. they are sacrificing having a normal life in a safe place where freedom is taken for granted. they are willing to die so you and i can live with the privileges and freedoms we have taken for granted and advantage of. tomorrow we will be congregating at my sister's house, having a celebration for what we have come to view as simply another holiday off work, another reason to get together and BBQ. like most Americans, we will feel good, have no worries, and be happy. all this while people like i saw at the airport await their fate and fight to stay alive. the only BBQ they will experience is the smell of burning flesh of the fallen.
we are home now, and everyone is tucked into a warm bed, safe house, and asleep. no pile of duffel bags for us to lay upon. no dirt floors or bug infested ground will feel the weight of our sleeping bodies. no one standing guard whilst we sleep to keep us safe... no threat of harm will our souls fear.... yet these heroes i observed at the airport will be experiencing such things and worse realities of war. i personally do not have anyone in my family serving our country at this time. however, that does not make me feel any less of a need to thank those who are, to pray for those who do, and to empathise with the ones they left behind who love them. i will be at my sisters tomorrow, BBQ-ing and enjoying the serenity of my surroundings. but i will also be saying prayers for everyone who lays their life on the line for me and mine. it is their day to be thought of and remembered. too many have died already so that i can take my privileges and freedoms for granted. too many more will pay the price in the future. our people wont back down and come home until we are safe from terrorists, and have proved the strength of our country through the sacrifices that were made.... "to do our duty, for god and our country, under liberty and justice for all". as i stood there watching these young men sleep, i prayed for their safety and i thanked god for the bravery they possess. i absolutely hate war. but if there has to be war, i am wholeheartedly grateful and thankful for those who love us enough to risk their lives to protect us from harm. i don't think i could do it. could you......?