The picnic is done. The parade is over. The speeches delivered. As I get ready to tuck into bed, I'm taking a moment to deliver a special thanks to the brave men and women in the military who help me sleep soundly at night.
Today we celebrated our family, friends and neighbors who serve (or have served) in the military. I clapped for the retired gentlemen marching in our parade and I pledged allegiance to the flag. Then I listened as a Lieutenant Colonel spoke and asked us to remember the soldiers who have returned from war mentally and physically wounded. She quoted that in today's wars, there are 9 seriously injured soldiers returned to the US for every fatality. That is a lot of wounded warriors.
As a proud member of the Annapolis community growing up, I remember all the crisply dressed midshipmen and admired their discipline. Over the years we sponsored "mids" to come to our house and be at ease on weekends. Our family has stayed close to many of them over the years. I was always proud of my parents for opening our home to these young men who were dedicating themselves to protect our country. Now as a parent, I try to do my part to impress my girls the importance of service.
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We had a long chat at dinner with the girls about what it means to serve and about the blessings that abound in this country. Freedom shouldn't be taken for granted. Tonight I will sleep well knowing that our family is safe thanks to the sacrifice of others. Happy Memorial Day everyone.