Sunday, May 26, 2013


To my son Tommy,

Some people suggest that many have lost sight of the real meaning of Memorial Day.  As most every holiday is besieged by sales and barbecues or parties, they may have a valid point.  But surrounded by our family today and focused on the love found in each others company, I believe this is exactly why our fallen soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice.  Many people often say, "When I die I want you to have a party instead of being all sad and crying" and all the soldiers I have met through out my army brat days and beyond, tend to echo that sentiment.  So, though we celebrate with burgers and dogs, though we worry about having enough ice for our beers, I think most keep the true meaning of the day close to their hearts and in the back of their minds.  You can see it behind their eyes when God Bless America comes on the PBS coverage of the National Memorial Day concert.  You can feel the pride when they discover a family heirloom in a footlocker, like the poster found today of the USO style play "Egg In Your Beer" that your Great Grandfather Sal Maggio joined with some other GI's after his injury in Italy during WWII.  You can even hear it loud and clear, in a simple silent prayer for those who have gone before us.  In a world where those we memorialize on this day may have died half a century ago or more or may have died just last week, it would be folly to think the burgers and barbecues were anything but a thinly disguised veil for what we feel for our lost heroes.  They are just our attempt to honor them with the party they deserve as we try to hide our sadness for their loss.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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