Memorial Day: Honoring a Hero
This week our nation celebrates Memorial Day; a day set aside to remember all those military men and women who lost their lives in the line of military duty. For many Americans, Memorial Day means a day off from work, the opening of the community swimming pool and picnics with family and friends. Quite often memorializing fallen American Hero’s on this or any other day doesn’t seem as important as having extra free time for ourselves. We celebrate Memorial Day because of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so we, Americans, can continue to live in freedom and enjoy our days off, family picnics and lazy afternoons at the community pool.
Today, as I sit in my comfy chair I am grateful that I have not suffered a great loss when it comes to losing a family member or friend in active military service. I do, however, have a very dear friend whose life was transformed by the loss of her husband while serving in the Army in 2002. SSG Paul Hanson, father of two, devoted husband, Army Veteran serving in the Persian Gulf War lost his life while doing what he loved; serving his country. He was 39 years old. When Paul passed away he left behind his beautiful wife (my dear friend) Connie and two young children Amy and Jayce to figure out how to find a new normal in their lives; one without their beloved husband and father.
I met Connie several years ago; my daughter and her son were in the same grade in school and our paths had crossed before our “formal” meeting. Throughout the years Connie has shared stories of her husband and the love they had for one another and the vast hole his absence has left in their lives. Aside from their great love for one another and their family, love of country has and will always be a strong focus in their lives. Connie has stayed active in the local ladies auxiliary working pancake breakfasts, placing flags on fallen soldiers graves, selling paper poppies in honor of Memorial Day and working to bring patriotism awareness to our school and community. I admire Connie and her children for working to find a new normal in Paul’s absence; it’s not easy for them but somehow they managed to move forward. They cling to hope and faith to push through while honoring Paul in the process.
As you go about your Memorial Day I encourage you to take a moment to acknowledge a military serviceman or woman you may know, make a donation to a fallen hero charity or simply take a few moments to silently acknowledge within your own heart the deep sacrifice these heroes have made for our country; for all of us.
For me, I am thankful for SSG Paul Hanson, his loving family and the unselfish service he gave to our country. I wish I could have met this American Hero and am grateful for the presence his family has in my life. Happy Memorial Day.
I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Topic: Memorial Day