We aren’t quite to the point where everyone sets off fireworks for the US Independence Day, but today is still a day where we honor the men and women who fight for us.
Today is Memorial Day in the US. For many people, that means the first day of summer, a day for camping and barbecues. It’s also a day for giving respect to the armed forces.
Most think only of the dead, as they fly flags, lay wreaths and put flowers on the graves of our fallen soldiers. However, there is another aspect to this day. Traditionally, the time from dawn until noon is devoted to honoring the living men and women of the armed forces, and only the time between noon and sunset is devoted to those who have passed from this life.
In that tradition, I want to highlight one very special part of the US armed forces – the Marine Corps.
I am not a member of the military, but every Marine I have ever met, even the ones I didn’t like, has been a special person with unique and valuable qualities.
To do their jobs well, Marines must be brave and steadfast. They are taught to think on their feet. They are also taught to never give up and that attitude carries through all aspects of life. They have a drive to make sure things are done right. They value their friends. They are loyal. They make great friends. A Marine is always a Marine, even after they retire.
My uncle is a Marine. He still keeps fit and trim even though he’s in his sixties. I never got along with him but I can appreciate his tidy house, his physical fitness, his success in life, and his sense of mission.
A good friend of mine is also a Marine. She entered in the seventies, and even though she was a female Marine she learned the same Core Values that other Marines learn. She’s brave, loyal, trustworthy, intelligent and dedicated.
My wife is an honorary Marine by virtue of training, and she learned much from her grandfather, who was a Marine. She’s taught me a lot about what it means to be a good person. I value her insights about life.
Today, I want to raise a toast to Marines everywhere. The Corps is the US’s oldest armed force. All volunteers, they’ve protected this country since the beginning. The few, the proud, the Marines!