I woke this morning and went about my normal routine. My routine is so common sometimes it feels as though I am on autopilot. I wake. I dress for my run. I run. I shower, get dressed, eat breakfast and drive to work. I rarely think of the process I go through in the morning. I never realized how much I take that process for granted.
I turned west onto Sheridan drive and pulled up to a long line of cars at the stoplight at the crest of the hill. The light turned green but it did not appear as though the cats in the line had begun to move. I grumbled reminding the other drivers that the light had in fact turned green which meant it was not OK to proceed. The cars began to move and I heard the low rumble of motorcycles.
Traveling east on Sheridan Drive were a group of Harley Davidson motorcycles. Each motorcycle bore a large American flag attached to a pole which itself was attached to the back of each motorcycle. I instantly knew who the group was, why they were riding together and where they were destined to arrive. This is a group of veterans who head to the funeral home of a fallen soldier. The group heads the procession to that soldier’s final resting place. I am sure as most of us go about our day we don’t even give any thought to this procession. Hopefully I we do give thought, we also give thanks and even for con minute step outside of our self-imposed busy lives and say “Thank you” for the life given.
Another American soldier from the area had been gunned down in the war we continue o fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. The war we have all seemed to forget. I am sure there are many more people like myself who take our freedom for granted. We go about our morning routine and grumble when traffic doesn’t move fast enough or when our coffee takes a little bit longer to be handed off as we rapidly pass through the local drive thru.
As the motorcycles passed I recall feeling choked up; embarrassed was more like it. I felt embarrassed at my inability to see the larger picture. I felt guilty for not remembering the gift given to us by the men and women of our military who are willing to put their lives in harm’s way so we can go about our morning routine. If it were not for these brave men and women, well I think you know how I’m going to finish this sentence.
When you go to sleep tonight hug your husband or wife. Give your children a kiss and tell them you love them, then drop down onto your knees and say “Thank you” to the soldiers who continue to place their lives in harm’s way. The next time you pass a soldier in a mall or a parking lot, stop and say “Thank you” for their service for if it were no for their sacrifice we would not have the freedom which we enjoy and take for granted.