Today is Memorial Day here in the United States, a national holiday set aside to honor our lost servicemen and servicewomen who have given their lives in defense of this country.
This is an important day here in the States, and one person for whom it remained incredibly important throughout his life was my grandfather, Milton E. Montgomery Jr. He served in both World War II (Iwo Jima aboard the USS Arkansas) and later in the Korean War, both in the U.S. Navy. Here's the proud fellow, having just enlisted in the Navy prior to WWII:
Every Memorial Day, without fail, he could be found on Main Street in his hometown of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, saluting the parade and remembering his comrades. It was big deal to him and, therefore, to me. While I don't always get to a parade, I always treat this day as its intended: a day of remembrance. He passed away almost 3 years ago at the ripe age of 82, proud of his service and rightfully so.
Regardless of your political feelings for this country's international policies over the last decade, always remember that the men and women on the ground, serving in the armed forces, do so voluntarily with the highest intentions; those that have given their lives in the line of duty all have earned our respect, our thoughts and our memories.
Larger version here: The Red, White and Blue