Memorial Day is a time of conflicting emotions. On one hand, it's kind of an unofficial kickoff to summer when my family tries to relax and enjoy life. More importantly, it's a reminder of my dad who came home after servicing during World War 2 while many other fighting men and women didn't.

My father was 15 years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked drawing the United States into WW2. As was the case with others his age, he was drafted into service and entered the Army eventually serving in Okinawa, Japan as a military police officer.

Doc Holliday

My dad's war experience had a happy ending. He served, came home and married my mom and eventually brought me into this world. He worked at the post office, retired and traveled living a full life. Memorial Day is for those that didn't.

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There is a somber Wikipedia page documenting all of the US war deaths from 1775 through 2019. The totals are staggering. Here's one number to remember today:

1,354,664+

That's the rough number of total US war deaths from the birth of this country to recent years. It's a number that unfortunately grows, but you get the idea. 291,557 died during the same World War 2 period that my dad served. He could have been one of those we remember today and I wouldn't be here. He wasn't and I'm thankful.

It's great to get outside and maybe BBQ or play today. It's one of the many benefits of freedom. However, it's worth a few quiet moments of your time to count the number that paid the price for today.

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