Monday, November 23, 2009
I want to take this opportunity to speak from the heart about why Honor and Remember exists. As long as America continues to be "one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all," there will be a price to pay for that freedom. Unfortunately, that price is the lives of young men and women who stand on the front lines to defend those values, not only for Americans but also for freedom loving people around the world.
There are no words, no accolades, no gifts that will ever alleviate the pain of the loss experienced by the families of the fallen. There will always be a hole that can never be filled in the lives of parents, spouses, children and friends of those who didn't come home. Yet all of us can do something to show our gratitude for and acknowledge our indebtedness to men and women who have given all for our nation. We can choose to honor and remember them.
This month provided a tragic reminder that not all who die in military service lose their lives on the battlefield. The attack at Ft. Hood is a sobering and powerful reminder that the men and women of our military put themselves in harms way the moment they decide to serve their country. Some die in accidents or other circumstances not directly related to battle. But all should be remembered for their commitment. That's why Honor and Remember is important.
The Honor and Remember Flag is meant to serve as a tangible reminder to devote even a few moments to reflect with gratitude and respect on the cost of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.
Please join me in giving tribute to these 13 men and women from Ft. Hood who gave their lives for each of us. CWO Michael Cahill, Maj. Libardo Eduardo Caraveo, SSgt. Justin DeCrow, Capt. John Gaffaney, SPC Frederick Greene, SPC Jason Hunt, Sgt. Amy Krueger, Pfc. Aaron Nemelka, Pfc. Michael Pearson, Capt. Russell Seager, Pvt. Francheska Velez, Lt Col Juanita Warman, Pfc. Kham Xiong.
Within the last two days, I have received emails from two sources that are willing to donate the funds for personalized Honor and Remember Flags for each of the Ft. Hood families. Naturally, we have not attempted to contact the families to be able to make presentations, but we will work with our contacts to determine the most respectful and appropriate opportunity to do so. If you are in touch with any of these families or they are in your community please contact me.
My blessings go out to the Gold Star families reading this whose hearts are also breaking, knowing what these new families are experiencing. We can do nothing to change the events that led to this tragedy. But we can commit in our own way to pay tribute to those who died and to their families.