I am sitting outside taking a note on my iPhone, watching my son mow the lawn, supervising, and it’s Memorial Day 2020.

I went to a ceremony this morning, by myself, listened to the service, prayed for my fallen comrades, saluted the flag, talked to a few friends, drove home while listening to music. Friends that I had lost on my mind. Even though I wasn’t with them I have survivors guilt. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen my fair share of death, and contributed to it too. But driving home with nothing but my thoughts and the background noise was nothing but that: noise. I queried myself as to why I only think about my friends no more than a hand full of times a year? Is it that their death is worth less of my thoughts throughout the year? Do they not deserve my gratefulness daily; surely they do, but wrapping my mind around one day a year is hard. And every year, one day a year, we set aside to remember those who fell.

They deserve more. They gave it all. They saved me, they saved you (if you’re an American, or a countryman of country we aided). One day a year. We cookout, we have BBQ’s with our friends and/or families, and it means nothing to the civilian that doesn’t know. It’s a day off, especially after this year – a pandemic year. However; there are many people that remember, and we honor the falling of our brothers and sisters-in-arms.

We have these notions that we are to give those that fell a heroes memorial when the families and friends of the fallen remember always. One day a year. The notion is that people only care one day a year, and they are thankful for their day off of work. BBQ’s, day at the beach, or wherever. We thank those that made the sacrifice. We thank those that gave the ultimate sacrifice. One day a year. Remember that the fallen was someone’s: family member, loved one, friend, and someone’s member-in-arms.

The reason we do it one day a year, was not something I had thought about. I was commiserating my thoughts to my wife, and she stated, “They don’t want you to be sad and depressed every day of the year. It’s okay to move on with life…”

Move on with LIFE.

Life, the essence of living. God gave us this life and we can mourn those that made that sacrifice for ever and a day, or we can remember them for WHO they were and WHAT they stood for, and WHO they died for. Ultimately, they died for the American people, their country, and for the man/woman on their left and on their right.

“Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. LORD, what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them? They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow.”

God gives some of us the ability to be warriors, everything is a fight, it’s the mentality we are born with. We take it hard when we lose a brother (sister) to combat. We take it harder when we lose a member to suicide. This Valhalla mentality is atrocious- it’s glorifying death, it’s making a mockery of those that died: “Until Valhalla.” It’s deadly and dangerous to give death a place in our heart as valiant in the matter of suicide.

Norse mythology states that if a man dies in combat he will sit at the table of Odin in the Halls of Valhalla: “Norse Heaven”. This contributes to the suicide mentality – I will be at the table of gods when I die. Not realizing that it is reserved for War and being a human sacrifice. It instead leaves people in life that they loved feeling hopeless, scarred and overwhelmed; nonetheless, we find ourselves thinking of those that lost their life to suicide on Memorial Day as well. Wondering if we could have done anything to have stopped them. The answer is: maybe, but not necessarily. And I remember my brothers that I have lost to suicide, I remember the one that made me rethink my life and how I can help more Veterans. First with FreedomSystem.org and secondly with Alpha Nerds Guild.

Life comes first! Life always comes first.

As we continue on our day here on this Memorial Day: Monday, May 25th, 2020, a day that will be remembered by many because of the country starting to reopen. I remember everyone that fell. I remember those that fell to their own mental demons and their own hands because of the service they gave to this country.

Happy Memorial Day!

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