Today is Memorial Day. This holiday takes on special meaning when deployed to a Combat zone. It was a little bit odd because due to the mission it was really just another day. They had a service to remember the fallen soldiers that have gone before us, but we didn't make it over. The tempo has ebbed up again, so there is much to get done as always.
I read an article on Omaha.com about a soldier from Nebraska that died here about 2 weeks ago. I was at first angry because the group from Kansas was there to protest. I for the life of me can't figure out how any American could live with themselves after going to harass a family of someone that just lost a loved one fighting for their country. Where does that enter in your mind that is an acceptable path to get your message heard? I actually pity them for choosing this method to get their message out, I know that deep down they know what they are doing is wrong and will pay for the actions by losing a little bit of their humanity in the process. There is, however, a positive out of all this. The Patriot Guard Riders were formed to offset the people who show up to protest. I couldn't believe it when I checked out their website that they have around 56,000 members. Here is their mission statement:
The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation. We have one thing in common besides motorcycles. We have an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security. If you share this respect, please join us. We don’t care what you ride, what your political views are, or whether you’re a "hawk" or a "dove". It is not a requirement that you be a veteran. It doesn't matter where you’re from or what your income is. You don’t even have to ride. The only prerequisite is Respect. Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives.1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.2. Shield the mourning family and friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors. We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.
I found it incredibly encouraging that something so positive could come out of something so evil. The whole thing is volunteer as well, and the amount of organziation it takes to attempt to cover as many funerals as they do is impressive to say the least.