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A Memorial Day Remembrance
My father was the commander of American Legion Post 294 in Wisconsin when I was asked to speech at Memorial Day. I know I was probably the back up plan but I had spoken as a teenager and my dad wanted me to give the same speech as he produced a folded copy of it from his drawer. I know that speeching meant a great deal to him and that I had made him very proud when I spoke at the age of 15. I don't go home but this trip was worth while because it was honoring the men I loved and grew up with. The speech I gave in 2010 was not an exact replica but it included everything I felt and needed to say.
Memorial Day is special to me because my family had always been very involved with veterans and honoring them.
Fifteen years ago I stood up here as a young teenager ready to face the world that lay before me. I stood here then and now to reminisce about the memories of my childhood.
As a member of the Junior Auxiliary and the color guard, I've learned many things from the men around me and from the men who have died so we could be here today.
The men I grew up around were veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War. They taught me the traditions of this country and to honor the people who protected it.
The new generation of veterans has taught me a great deal as well, because they are my peers. Before the served they were kids, like the kid that sat next to me in Algebra, the kid I rollerbladed with in college, my friends, and now the parents of my students. When I originally spoke here 15 years ago with many of these same words I never imagined I would be standing here today recognizing the loss of people I grew up with.
There are certain things that will always stand out in my mind. I remember marching, looking over the crowd. The American flag passes by, one elderly man rises to his feet, removes his hat and salutes the flag of his country. For him it is a tradition that represents his patriotism. This tradition must be taught to the children before it is lost.
As we honor our country, we must not forget those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. They are remembered in our hearts and minds. So their bravery and valor will live on forever. Memorial Day represents these men and all they have given to their country.
Today is the day we remember war and the young men sent to fight, who thought they were indestructible. The bravest ones knowing they could not win this battle alone, and yet they tried. They made a difference and we thank them for giving us our freedom. But yet the war is not over, there are so many more battles to fight. So many more young men that will lose their lives. So many more Memorial Days that we will honor.
Shall we be the one man who stands alone and do what we believe is right. If we all stand alone, then we shall not be alone. We will be a country, a nation, America.
So let us join together, mourn our losses, and pray there shall be no more. Today is the day of remembrance, but tomorrow is the future. As we remember the past, learn from our mistakes so the future will come in peace and the children of today, my children, will not be faced with the horrors of war.