Memorial Day is one of respect, honor, gratitude and admiration. It has a special meaning for all of us. The old saying that freedom isn't free rings loud and clear.
It has been five years since 1st Lt. Jared W. Southworth was killed in action in Afghanistan. He left behind a wife, four young children and a loving extended family. Like so many others who have fallen, Jared laid down his life so we can enjoy ours.
What many see as a motto, "God, Family and Country," was a way of life to Jared and so many others like PFC David Taylor Miller, Capt. John J. McKenna IV and Lance Cpt. Anthony J. Denier. The courage and dedication to put oneself in harm's way is something only a few are willing to do. Let us never forget their selfless sacrifice. We owe them all a debt we can never repay.
Although it has broken our hearts to have lost a loved one, we can take comfort in the fact that Jared, like so many, wanted to defend our country. Like all who have fallen before them and will fall in the future, let us give thanks for those American heroes.
Not only on this day, but every day, let us honor and salute our fallen brothers and sisters who have truly given us the land of the free and home of the brave. As many hearts ache for their loss, as does ours, let their memories never fade.
Candidate for state Senate, 49th District