Today, we honor those of our fellow Americans who have given their lives on our behalf and their families who continue to carry that burden.
When I was diagnosed with a life threatening disease at age 45, some would tell me I was young to have to face mortality. But throughout my treatment I’ve always felt that whether I survived my illness or not, I was lucky to have so many years — unlike the 21-year-olds who have died really young in Helmand, Balud, Quang Tri, Peleliu and the many other battles of our nation’s history.
And, on this day, we also must honor the sacrifice of military families. In a New York magazine issue marking the fifth anniversary of 9/11, a sociology professor made the point that the impact of the nation’s response to the September 11th attacks have fallen predominately on military communities. And, as deep as the wounds are here in New York and in Washington, D.C. from 9/11, it is now primarily in towns from around the U.S. where the impact of our response continues to be felt everyday by uniformed personnel and their families.
So, thank you. Though I realize it is hardly enough.
Mary McHugh in front of the Arlington Cemetery grave of her fiance Army Ranger James ‘Jimmy’ Regan who was killed by a road side bomb in Iraq in 2007.