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.