I have to say that I’ll never look at Memorial Day the same after that day about a year and a half ago. That day that my only brother, Alex, lost his life serving in Afghanistan.
I will never look at it as simply a happy day to drink cocktails, grill out, and swim like I did before. A carefree day. A day off work. A holiday.
I mean, sure, don’t get me wrong… I’ll still do those things. I’ll be around family and friends and do my best to have a nice day. But now, Memorial Day has a whole new meaning to me. And it saddens me that I never really grasped it before.
From now on, I will do those things in memory of my brother. Because he died fighting to give us the luxury to be able to do that. I’ll do it as a toast to him. To thank him. To remember him. To cherish my family. To cherish my friends. And to never ever forget that these men and women devote their lives to allow us to continue ours in the fashion we see fit.
Here’s the post that I wrote about my brother initially. I wrote it as both therapy for myself and to put a face to a name. To put a story to a name. Because the more people who learn about him, the more he will be remembered. And that’s my goal. To help people who never met him to feel a bit more like they did. So, if you haven’t read it, I’d love it if you’d take the time.
If you’re looking for a charity to give to, consider donating to The Green Beret Foundation or Wounded Warrior Fund. Both are noble causes and were my brother’s preferred charities. I currently have a fundraiser going for the Wounded Warrior 5K which I’m running in honor of Alex, the link of which is here. We’ve already exceeded our goal thanks to the generosity of many, but I’d love to see how far we can go. Just to be clear, this post isn’t intended as a “fundraising post”. It’s for Memorial Day, so please don’t get the wrong impression or feel obligated. I just wanted to include these links in case anyone is interested.
So, please be safe today and don’t forget to remember our fallen heroes… The reason for this holiday to begin with.
20 thoughts on “On Memorial Day”
I am sorry for your loss. From the bottom of my heart, I thank your brother for defending our freedoms. I will be thinking of him today.
Thank you so much!
There’s really no words to express our gratitude to you, your family, and Alex, but just know we are thinking of you all with tears in our eyes and smiles on our faces. ❤️
Alex would be proud of you, kiddo. Good work.
I can’t say it better than those comments before mine. God bless your family.
Hi Christina. I found this post through Hannah Hulin Scott, whom I taught in Keller. She suggested I reach out to you through this post. I live in DC now and was at Arlington National Cemetery this weekend. I went to a table sponsored by Mindful Memorial Day. The goal is for everyone who comes through to chose the name of a soldier lost after 9/11 to think about on Memorial Day. Since I asked for someone from my hometown, I was given Alex. I just wanted to let you and your family know that a stranger has been thinking of, and is thankful for, your brother today. Please let me know if you would like me to send you the ribbon I was given to wear in Alex’s honor.
Thank you so much! I love hearing stories like this… it is much appreciated!!
You are not alone in any of your thoughts or feelings. Your blue family will always be there as well as your green. You honor him by keeping his memory alive. Memorial Day means many different things to everyone, you have a perspective unlike any other. I salute your brother and his sacrifice. Respect and honor, RIP to him and all my fallen brothers and sisters. Your brother is a true hero. Love you guys
He was truly incredible!!! Love him, and honor him!!
Hi Christina, the loss of Alex is so painful to me, and I was only fortunate to know him as a baby. (You both for that matter). In life you come across so many people that you know briefly, but only a few remain in your memory. Alex was one of them. How this little boy was always thought of throughout his life I can’t explain as I never saw him again once your family moved to Texas. But the ache in my heart when I think of him, is nothing compared to yours and your wonderful family. I pray God forever gives you strength to endure. Yes, Memorial Day, may not be looked at the same way, but I loved what you said about the parties, BBQs, etc, that you would not ever look at the same as you did before but would continue to participate in the happy side of it. I admire that. I too, like so many throughout the years used to think of this as a long weekend of fun and get-togethers, but I also did not stop to think of the enormity of what this Rememberance Day meant. I think everyone, including myself, just take for granted the freedoms we have. I recently saw a post that said FREEDOM IS NOT FREE; SOMEONE PAID FOR IT. How very true. I do believe the reason we say HAPPY Memorial Day has two meanings. One to always and forever never forget our fallen heroes, or the wounded, or those that were fortunate enough to come home safe. The second one is the celebration part, to be so thankful and happy of this land of the free that all the men and women who serve our Country, helped make sure our freedoms remain. I am known across FACEBOOK LAND of the crazy lady who writes novels on FB. Well, if I could write a book on here about your beautiful brother, I would. I know Alex is the ultimate hero, but so are all of you in his family; because when Alex died, a piece of you all died as well. And to only say THANK YOU, seems so insensitive, but THANK YOU and IM SO VERY SORRY is profoundly meant. Alex and your entire family will always remain in my prayers. Please tell your parents (who I can’t even imagine their pain in losing their baby), that I always think of them and wish them peace and comfort in which ever way they choose to get it. And you, little sister, stay strong because your big brother is smiling down on you and I believe he only wishes for your happiness. With all my love to each of you, and to Sera, your Aunt, and Anthony your Uncle, who lost their brother as well. You all share the common thread of a brother lost. Love and serenity, Ceil. (Your Dads cousin Anthony’s wife).
I made a mistake in saying Sera and Anthony lost their brother, I meant nephew. What I intended to say is how they share their brothers pain. Sorry.
We don’t have memorial day here, but I sure was thinking of you.
Thanks so much, MB! 🙂