On Saturday morning, as I waited in the line at my bank, one of the employees turned to me and asked about my plans for the holiday weekend.  Did I have a picnic, bbq, or party planned?  Was I going out of town? What fun adventures did I plan for my extra day off?  At no point did she ask whether I was somehow, honoring those lost on behalf of our freedoms.

Today’s post is a speech written by a Gold Star Mother.  She gave this speech last week at an event in Alabama.  This weekend,with our extra day off, I hope that each of you also remember and honor those lost.  And please remember our Gold Star Families–their pain continues.

Cpl Matthew Bolar, United States Army

“Good morning, I am Anne Adkins and like a lot of you in this
room today I’m a mom.  I’m the mom of Cpl
Matthew Bolar who was killed in Iraq on May 3, 2007.  I am here to represent the Alabama Department
of the American Gold Star Mothers.”

“First, I want to express my deepest sympathies for the
families here today whose loved ones have paid the ultimate price in defense of
the country they loved.  I know the hurt
and the sadness that entered your lives the moment that knock on your door
changed your lives forever. I know.  But
let’s remember why we’re here-to recognize these heroes.  General H. Norman Schwarzkopf once said ‘It doesn’t take a hero to order men into
battle.  It takes a hero to be one of
those men who goes into battle.’ They are your
heroes, they are our heroes. They are
Alabama’s heroes. We are here today
to honor them and pay our greatest respect to them and their families.”

“And to the families-we want you to know that the Gold Star
Mothers of Alabama are here for you. This is an organization that no one wants
to join; membership comes with a heavy price. But we are here,  to listen, 
to comfort,  to share memories,  to make your voices heard.”

“When our son Matthew was killed, one of my worst fears was
that his sacrifice would be forgotten as time passed. You Gold Star families
and the families of the fallen  may feel and
fear the same way. No. That won’t happen. It’s the Gold Star Mothers’ mission
to make sure that our heroes will never be forgotten and their sacrifice always
honored.  It is our common link that can
never be broken and a bond that we will always share.”

“In October of 2010 we met to recognize the heroism of 122 Alabama men and women who died defending the United States of America
since September 11 .  Today, we are here
in remembrance of nine additional fallen heroes who will be added to the
Alabama’s Fallen Heroes Memorial.  Before
we read those names, I would like to read you one more quote this from John F.
Kennedy, as it seems to me to be very appropriate as to why we are here today.”  

nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it
honors, the men it remembers.”