In the hallway near the office of the school I teach at are large pictures of two young men, former students, who died in Afghanistan. I have often paused to look at the faces of these men and ponder what their lives might have held for them. What were their ambitions? Where would their lives in the military have taken them? How did they die? Did they have the chance for last thoughts or words? How many sunrises would they have seen, if they had chosen a different walk of life.
Many of us take life and freedom for granted. Not on purpose, but we sometimes go about our days dwelling on mundane details and missing the beauty that is all around us. When a close friend died this year, I realized that I had just assumed he would always be with us. Life doesn’t work that way, of course, but we prefer not to dwell on its ultimate reality.
The young men who look so full of life in their pictures made a choice. They were well aware of the ultimate sacrifice that might await them. Yet, they still decided to put the good of others before themselves.
On Remembrance Day, we think of those who paid the cost for our freedom. We think of their families. We think of all the blessings that we have.
Lest we forget.