Memorial Day 2010

The other day, we were driving to swim lessons when MOTS asked about a picture she had seen in one of our scrapbooks.

“Mommy, why is there a picture of a bunch of empty chairs in a field in our scrapbook?”

At first, I wasn’t sure what she was talking about so I asked for some context. What pages were around it. She said it was in the section from a trip to Oklahoma. I knew then.

How do you explain evil?

The picture she was referring to is this one (or similar) of the chairs in the Oklahoma City Memorial. One chair for every victim of the Oklahoma City Bombing.

“But, Mommy, why are there two different sizes of chairs?”

It’s been years, but I still cry.

“Because there was a daycare in that building. And children died in that blast, too. Their chairs are the smaller chairs.”

There is evil in this world.

And there are those that stand and defend us from that evil. They get up every morning and they put on their uniform and they go out and stare down that evil. They hold it back.

And sometimes, evil wins. Sometimes, heroes die.

But always, always, there are those who still press forward.

They defend us. They defend our way of life. They defend a country, and a people, who, not perfect, still do the best we can. They fight for a freedom that is never guaranteed and is written in the blood of so many men that have fallen on the field of battle both home and abroad.

And for that, I thank you.

Thank you, Police Officers, Fire Fighters, First Responders, for running toward disaster. For pushing into the fray. For standing in the gap to protect home and hearth.

Thank you, Coast Guard, for protecting our shores.

Thank you, Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force for protecting us on foreign shores. For facing down the enemy so far from the comforts of home.

Thank you to the families of these men and women. Thank you for your support and your sacrifice.

Thank you.

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