What will you do at 3pm on Monday? Will you be camping or sitting at the beach? Perhaps you will try to sneak in a round of golf or go on a picnic with your family. That is what most people do.
But not all of them.
At 3pm on Monday, the families of 6,809 men and women will be grieving, reminded once again that their sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives were swept away too soon.
They were not supposed to die. They joined the service to defend the very families who mourn them now. They joined to pay back the cowardly, shadowy vermin who killed our citizens.
Their families’ only solace is in the belief that their loved ones died for a noble cause. Their only refuge comes from within – with other family members who mourn with them; and from without – from others who have experienced similar losses and feel the same bottomless sense of grief. And from above, with the belief that they will see each other again in a happier and more peaceful place.
At 3pm the nation will observe a moment of silence in honor of its Veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Most of us will do so with a sense of respect and gratitude. Some will let the hour pass without even noticing at all. But for 6,809 families, 3pm will bring back a flood of memories and longing for days gone by, when their Soldier, Airman, Marine, Sailor or Coastguardsman was there with them, ready to take on the world.
And they did.