May 28th, 2007
While every day should be a day of remembrance, please take a special moment today to honor the fallen members of the United States Armed Forces.
PFC Madaras was killed September 3, 2006, as a result of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his dismounted patrol during combat operations in Baqubah, Iraq.
His father and members of American Legion Post 86 in Wilton decided to honor his memory in a fashion most befitting to Pfc. Madaras’ legacy.
A soccer net and a sign announcing “Kick for Nick” was set up outside American Legion Post 86 to collect soccer balls to send to children in Iraq.
More than a million American service members — like PFC Madaras — have died in the wars and conflicts this nation fought since the first colonial soldiers took up arms in 1775 to fight for independence.
From the Civil War to Europe - from Pearl Harbor to Korea - from Vietnam to Grenada - from Kuwait to Afghanistan and Iraq - men and women like Madaras have died so that we could continue to cherish the things they loved —God, country and family.
That is why we are gathered here on Memorial Day…to honor the memory of our fallen warriors who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country in wars our nation was forced to fight to maintain liberty.
We are also reminded on this day that in each generation, brave men and women will always step forward to take the oath of allegiance as members of America’s armed forces, willing to fight and if necessary die, for the sake of freedom.
In reviewing countless letters to home from these fallen heroes who fought and died for our country since World War I, historians of The American Legion feel there are four basic reasons why America will answer our nation’s call to arms and put their lives in harms way.
They do it for a strong national defense — to keep America safe and secure against those enemies who would destroy our American way of life.
They do it for their fellow comrades…for those fighting by their side against all odds and for those who separate from the military and become veterans.
They do it for American core values of God and country — family, patriotism and our religious heritage.
They do it for their children…so that they can grow up in an America that is strong and free.
It is through this last pillar - children…that we can continue the spirit of Memorial Day each and every day.
According to a recent article in Newsweek, more than 1200 children in the U.S. have lost a parent in Iraq or Afghanistan. When 43.5 percent of the fighting force is made up of parents, the propensity for more children to become members of single-parent families will certainly increase.
Their innocence will be challenged by the dramatic change affecting the balance of security and comfort in their family routine. Their hearts will feel the sharp sting of their loss, leaving them only with memories of their loving mom or dad. Life as they have known it will be much harder from now on.
Read the entire post from the American Legion
My father passed away a few years back, long after his time in the Service. He spent the duration of WWII in the United States Navy. I was lucky enough to have been able to thank him for his many sacrifices before he died.
Today we honor those who have served and are no longer with us. For those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of freedom and liberty, we humbly say “thank you.”