Monday, May 25, 2009

Remembering the Fallen

This is what Memorial Day looks like at the Veterans' Cemetery in Chico, California.

I went there to pay my respects generally to the men and women who have given their lives to protect the freedoms and lives of my family and my country.

I also went to specifically visit the grave of Matthew "Axe" Axelson, who was a member of SEAL Team 10 and who died in Afghanistan during Operation Red Wing, documented in Marcus Luttrell's excellent book, Lone Survivor. Marcus was the eponymous survivor of the operation, and covers not only the mission, but gives an account of the training of the SEALs.

My daughter was too emotional to go, but she and her sister made a small bouquet that I placed on Axelson's grave. I found myself more emotional than I expected when the time came. My timing was fortuitous enough that I heard the end of the general memorial, saw the 21-gun salute and heard a boy scout play Taps.

We should all be grateful for all of the sacrifice and character of such men.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Thank you for this post. It's important to remember our fallen heroes.

I had an awful moment Sunday while singing "America the Beautiful." I realized I no longer believed America lives up to any of the ideals presented in the song. I don't think it really has for decades, perhaps since the progressive movement.

Thank goodness for real heroes and days to honor them. Their courage on behalf of freedom, even to the loss of their own lives, is a strong reminder that we haven't lost all the founding principles yet.