The U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial, is based on the iconic photograph taken by Associated Press photographer Jos Rosenthald.  The monument is dedicated to every Marine who has died in combat since Nov. 10, 1775.  The words, “Uncommon Valor Was a Common Trait” is inscribed at the base of the statue 

This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day; a day we honor those who gave their lives to protect our way of life.  Luke Scot is a former Major League Baseball player.  When interviewed about his patriotism he responded,  “ There’s a lot of people that fought for their country and that’s not something to be taken lightly.  They gave their life, everything they had, they gave their lives, to give us what we have.  That’s why I’m so passionate about my beliefs – because someone died for me.”

There’s an example of a man who understands the importance of Memorial Day; now here is my challenge to you.  Once you have finished reading this post, forward it to a veteran, active armed services member or their parents with a note of thanks.  Our veterans and current members of the armed services continue to demonstrate, that for them, uncommon valor is a common virtue”

Kelly Strong is a 1985 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy and serves as a Coast Guard Pilot and Flight Instructor.  In 1981 he wrote the following in tribute to his father, a career marine who served two tours in Vietnam.                                                         
I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze;
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform,
So young, so tall, so proud;
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
He’d stand out in any crowd.
I thought… how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?
How many pilots’ planes shot down
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves
No, Freedom is not Free.
I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still;
I listened to the bugler play,
And felt a sudden chill;
I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant “Amen”
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend;
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No. Freedom is not Free!
Thanks for Embracing the Challenge. Happy Memorial Day all! ( Listen to the sound of Taps)