I do not often allow myself to look squarely in the eyes of what it means to be married to this lifestyle we have chosen together. However, today is one of them.
I sit here at my desk, in my air conditioned home, listening to the morning song of birds as their lyrical melodies filter across the pool. Later, our children will wake up. I will have to choose what to feed them for breakfast - eggs, yogurt, or hot cereal? Bananas or grapes? Then we will prepare for our afternoon party with friends from church.
I am well aware so few mothers in the history of the world have been fortunate enough to enjoy this level of security and peace, and yet here I sit, one of them.
The intellectual and physical freedoms I enjoy this very moment were purchased by the sacrifice of men, such as yourself, throughout the generations of this country. As it is every day when you are gone, I am ever mindful of your sacrifice and your willingness to do the right thing, even when it is hard. I am mindful of the patriot's blood coursing through our children's veins, the blood of men who fought in the earliest struggles for our beloved country's freedom and independence. I am mindful and I am grateful, grateful there are individuals such as yourself who have stood ready throughout the course of this great nation's history to defend and protect these same freedoms. I am ever mindful of the ultimate and eternal sacrifice of families such the Stacey and the Zembiec families. I am mindful and I am grateful for those who have laid down their lives in the exertion to secure these freedoms for others.
Today, I honor them.
Today, as I go about my activities in this beautiful land, I will do so in honor of men like Doug. I will laugh with my children because they cannot laugh with theirs, I will spend time with family and friends because they cannot spend time with theirs. I will plan and dream for the future because they cannot plan for theirs. I will teach our children, "He that is a soldier in defense of such a cause, needs no title; his post is a post of honor, and although not an emperor, yet he shall wear a crown--of glory--and blessed will be his memory!"
And blessed is their memory.
Much love and belief in the amazing man you are -
|US Marine Sgt. William Stacey|
"Your exertions in the cause of freedom, guided by wisdom and animated by zeal and courage, have gained you the love and confidence of your grateful countrymen; as they look to you, who are experienced veterans, and trust that you will still be the guardians of America. As I have the honor to be an American, and one among the free millions, who are defended by your valor, I would pay the tribute of thanks, and express my gratitude...
|US Marine Maj. Douglas Alexander Zimbiec, "The Lion of Fallujah"|
"Although your private concerns may call for your assistance at home, yet the voice of your country is still louder...Never was a cause more important or glorious than that which you are engaged in; not only your wives, your children, and distant posterity, but humanity at large, the world of mankind are interested in it; for if tyranny should prevail in this great country, we may expect liberty will expire throughout the world. Therefore, more human glory and happiness may depend on your exertions than ever yet depended upon any of the sons of men. He that is a soldier in defense of such a cause, needs no title; his post is a post of honor, and although not an emperor, yet he shall wear a crown--of glory--and blessed will be his memory!"
|US Marine Sgt. William Stacey's body is returned to the U.S. Feb 2012|
--A Freeman (as appeared in the New England Chronicle, Nov 1775).
(Stacey, 23, a member of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, was killed by a roadside bomb while on a walking patrol in Now Zad, a onetime Taliban stronghold in Helmand province.)
(US Marine Maj. Douglas Zembiec, the Lion of Fallujah, was killed in action May 11, 2007 while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. )