Today I went for a run. I ran with a sense of freedom. Freedom protected and paid for by so many who have put on a uniform, as well as the many who have given the ultimate sacrifice protecting that freedom. As I ran, I thought about all the things I am grateful for….each one circled back to the constitution and the freedoms I have living in America.
The last mile of my run was through my favorite place…. the local cemetery. It was no accident my run took my through this peaceful place. I often end my runs here to gain some peace and perspective.
Today I slowed down and looked around. I saw so many grave sites with flowers, flags, wreaths….letting others know that someone had recently paid a visit. I saw a plot with a flag and walked through the grass to take a closer look. It was a WWII veteran. I paused, and out loud said, “Thank you for your service” then turned to walk away. I was reading other stones as I walked out of the grass and realized that many were veterans. And many had no flag or flowers. I walked that last mile through the cemetery, visiting each stone with a flag and saying the same words each time, “Thank you for your service”
Around each stone with a flag I saw plenty without a flag so each time I noticed it was a veteran, I cleared away the dirt and grass and said again, “Thank you for your service”
I returned home feeling far more grateful than when I walked out the door so I put down my waterbottle, picked up my purse and headed to the dollar store. I bought all the flags they had left (about 30) and drove to the cemetery. I retraced my steps, placing a flag by each veteran I had seen earlier without one, as well as a few extras.
Today is not about barbecues, boating and time off work. Today is not about politics, parades and public events. Today is about honoring and thanking those who have put on a uniform, fought and often times died protecting this country we call home. It is also about honoring the families of those same brave soldiers who sacrifice as well and are left behind to bear the burden of loss.
WWII, Korea, VietNam, and even WWI veterans, some forgotten for years, received my gratitude and my appreciation for their service to this great nation of ours. Take time today to say thank you in your own way to our veterans. To everything there is a cost and freedom is not free.

George H Hickey WWII

Chester W Bukar WWII
Casmir Patocki WWII
Richard A Stevens Bronze Star WWII
Harold P Pierce WWII
Adam Gregory WWII
Richard Patela WWII
Frank Olczak Bronze Star WWII
Leonard Lewandowski WWII
Raymond Casken WWII
John Bodzioch WWI
Joseph F Sychowski WWI

Frank C Mack WWII
Peter J Gnat WWII
Julius Bodnar WWI
James E Warnke WWII
James Pinske Korea
Eugene D Furman WWI
Eugene P Wasielewski WWII
Josei H Kuisba WWI
George Wdowik WWII
Michael P Gajda WWII
Thomas Smolak WWI
Stanley Lukaszewski WWI
Dominic  R Suwanski WWII
Theodore J Papuga WWII
Edward J Bryjak Korea
God Bless each one of you, as well as your families and loved ones. Thank you for your service.
Forward is a Pace

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