This particular Memorial Day has taken on a new significance for me, being surrounded by soldiers who have lost comrades in Iraq and Afghanistan. As soldiers and cops tend to do, the initial solemnity is quickly replaced by funny or ironic stories about the fallen.
I am honoring the memory of my two grandfathers, one a Canadian Army combat veteran of WWI, wounded at the battle of Vimy Ridge, the other a US Army veteran of WWI who served in the fledgling Army Air Services as an aircraft mechanic. I also honor the memory of Major Jacks, USMC, our neighbor in California who was shot down in Vietnam; Major Jacks stayed with his F-4 Phantom to steer it away from a school, instead of safely ejecting. And finally, I honor all of my brothers and sisters who are serving in combat zones, or are getting ready to depart downrange.