This is a very special weekend for myself and my family. Every so many years, my birthday falls on Memorial Day as it does this year. I’ve come to appreciate these years as being especially meaningful as I celebrate life and remembering the loss of those who have given their lives, paid the ultimate sacrifice, in service to our country.
I can’t help but think of my grandfather who was a horseman in the 7th Calvary during WWII. He rode horses for the Army, traveled to Germany, and was awarded the Purple Heart for being injured in battle. He came very close to losing his life which means not only would he have died in service but also that I would not be here to even write this post. It’s a deeply humbling awareness.
His outer wounds would heal in time, though they were extensive. Years later, after he passed away two extraordinary events occurred that honored him and all of those who have stood for freedom, liberty, and valued commitment to one’s country.
The first is that my brother-in-law, Brandon Bell, served our great Commonwealth as a State Senator from the 21st District of Virginia. He served two terms in Senate and advocated incredibly hard for the principles, issues, and ethics on which he stands.
The second is my daughter literally taking up the reigns and following in the steps of her grandfather by becoming an avid equestrian. From the very moment she climbed onto a horse it was love. We are strong advocates for The Eleventh Hour Foal Haven in Goochland County, which is sponsored by Swift Creek Equitation, a fantastic place that has become like a second home.
Needless to say, I am very proud of my family. In their own ways they have served and become advocates that are based on the foundation of community, service, and dedication.
On this Memorial Day, I urge people to pause and reflect on the heroism of those who defend the United States, and what their sacrifices have afforded us. To the families of those who have lost loved ones in the line of military service, you are in my thoughts and have my sincerest appreciation in honor of those you love and have loved, as well as my condolences.
Those who have perished will not be forgotten in my home, on Memorial Day or any other. They are remembered and honored. May they rest peacefully and be always appreciated for the sacrifices they made.