Never Forget the Lost
We Will Never Forget!! As the veterans and families convene during Memorial Day, we will never forget the ones we lost. This is a trying time for many people in our country. The United States has seen Ten years plus of warfare in two countries. Many veterans will feel the heightened sting of loss this Memorial Day.
Today people across the country, including most service members, look at Memorial Day as just another holiday. I was guilty of this to as junior Marine. I saw Memorial Day as just another 96. Of course I honored those who died. I did not truly understand the impact of the holiday. Today it is a day that I will never forget.
As a Marine you train constantly for war. The training is usually overshadowed by a sense of warrior bravado. A feeling of invincibility sweeps over you and you never forget that you are a member of the best fighting force in the world. After the first Marine falls however, the visceral reality will set in. Reality sinks in and you begin to realize your own mortality. As a result Marines must step outside of their comfort zone to accomplish the mission.
This sense of overall purpose for a higher cause than oneself is what drives Marines to push against all odds. In the depth of combat Marines are not fighting for God, country, and Corps. We are fighting for the Marine to the left and to the right of us. This is what pushes us forward. We will not never forget the reason we fight!
Many Marines spend years together in the same unit before they are called on to deploy. The time spent together is essential grow a bond tight enough to almost read each other’s thoughts. The level of cohesion is more intimate with every command element. A Battalion Commander may talk to his/her Battalion of Marines a few times a month. However, a fire-team leader will will work beside their Marines daily. The time spent working together is vital to producing a well oiled unit that “fires on all 8-cylinders.” A Marine will never forget that it is his brother to the left and to the right of them that keeps them in the fight!
Art of War
The uncertainty in warfare is known as the “fog of war.” The fog of war eliminates any likelihood that a plan in war can be executed from start to finish flawlessly. Marines must develop a solid relationship of trust with those they serve with to adapt to the ever changing fluidity of warfare. Furthermore, this trust will see them through the rigors and uncertainty of combat.
War is very nasty business. In the thick of conflict many witness how worthless human life can be. Especially when you see how easily it can be stripped away without regard. A Marine in combat has to push through and not focus on loss. However, after we return home and begin to reflect the pain of loss will creep in. In addition, the battlefield and brothers lost is something a Marine will never forget.
Gold Star Families Never Forget
For a Marine or family member that has lost their loved ones, Memorial Day is every day. The war is over for those that lost their lives. Yet the war continues to rage for all those who continue on their legacy. There is not a Gold Star parent alive that does not miss their son or daughter. Or Marines that do not miss their brother or sister in-arms. The Marines taken prematurely by the unrelenting nature of warfare will never be forgotten!
Memorial Day is not just another 96, or a reason to get out of work. It is a reflection of the Brothers you lost in war. It is a reflection of the great Americans that came before us to sacrifice their lives for the freedom we enjoy today. Furthermore, I believe at times many of us get caught up in the moment and fail to realize this. It is important to honor those that gave their lives by enjoying your own. It is the most amazing way to honor the lost. Feeling true remembrance and appreciation for the depth of their sacrifice.