On Friday I watched proudly as my cousin walked the stage at the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland to accept his degree in Ocean Engineering and even more impressively, his commission into the United States Navy as a brand new Ensign. It has been 15 years since I watched my husband do the same thing. It was a walk down memory lane and a flood of memories encompassing 15 years worth of marriage, 12 of those years of military duty. I am proud of my cousin. It does not come as surprise to me that he chose this path. In our family, he is one of many. He takes his place in a long line of family members who have answered the call to protect our freedom. This does not make him a number, although he joins the now 76,000 who can call themselves USNA graduates. No, he is not a number, he is an Officer in the United States Navy. He wears his uniform proudly. He is not only an Officer, but a Believer in Jesus Christ and he will wear his duty well. His graduation stands in bright, colorful opposition to the Memorial Day that stands before us. In a video shown at church this morning, we saw a young girl, growing up without her Fallen Hero, her Daddy. The video, which I have now searched for too long, shows her at a young age learning to roller skate, celebrating her 14th birthday, graduating from High School, and getting married, while writing to her Daddy about each event, though he had died. Finally, she visits Arlington with her young daughter and explains the cost of freedom and that some things are worth the cost. I found myself unable to hold back the tears as names of fallen friends raced through my mind. My dear friend lost her husband three weeks before she gave birth to their first and only precious girl. My husband and I have lost many friends through the years and we do not forget them. Tomorrow is Memorial Day and they are forefront in my mind. They fought and died to protect our freedoms. After hearing the Blue Angels fly this past week, our local Librarian mentioned to me that she could not imagine hearing "that" and knowing that bombs were being dropped on her country. Almost all of our wars have been fought in places where we do not hear the pain or terror of bombs, gun fire, and fearful screams. They are fought far away, where you can ignore them. They are fought in places where you can call them not real, or unnecessary. They are fought in places where you can oppose them because the terror is not at your door. You do not have to call jet noise the sound of freedom. You get to call it entertainment. Men and women have died for you, for your freedom, and for your protection. You get to sleep well at night because they have your back. They choose to not let you down. They have died, not letting you down, keeping their promise, and hoping that you will continue to enjoy the freedoms for which their lives were given. On Memorial Day, remember them, thank their families for their sacrifice, and remember to thank a veteran while they are still alive to appreciate your words.