Last Monday was Memorial Day, a day where Americans honor those who died for their country in military service. I am a pacifist. I hate the violence and the response to violence that escalates into war. Still, today I am wearing a dog tag for a solider I never knew. His name was Steven Bridges, a 33 year old father of four who died just a few days after he arrived to fight in Iraq.
While I have plenty of military veterans in my family, from my grandfathers to my dear husband to my nephew in active service in the Air Force, I’ve been fortunate that they all survived their tours of duty. Memorial Day only became personal when I stopped at those ever-blooming trees on the Bryant Street bike boulevard.
As I rolled up, I wondered if the trees that guard a car-free block were still decorated. Where were the perky bright spring colors? Then I saw the flags and on closer look the white peace doves in the trees. Finally, I saw the dog tags and accepted my mission: honoring a man who fought for his country and paid the ultimate price.
Have you ever been moved to honor someone you’ve never met? Who are your heroes?