Today is Memorial Day in the United States. For many, this simply means an opportunity to take the day off, relaxing with family and friends. But there’s more to it than that.
Memorial Day is a day we set aside to commemorate those veterans who have died in the service of our country. It was first enacted to honor those in the Union Army who died in the American Civil War. After the first World War, it was expanded to include American casualties of any war or military action.
I have never had the privilege of serving in the military. However, I am profoundly grateful for those who have.
In the U.S., I fear we have come to take our national security for granted. The tragic events of 9/11 were a wake-up call. The fact we have not had another major terrorist attack on U.S. soil is a testimony to the brave men and women who work tirelessly to protect our freedoms both here and around the world.
I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank a few of my family members who have served in the military. Not all of these were injured or killed in the line of duty, but all served with honor and distinction:
- My Dad, Robert T. Hyatt, who served as a Marine in the Korean War. He was critically injured when a piece of shrapnel hit him in the head and nearly killed him. He received the Purple Heart. Amazingly, He was just eighteen-years-old when it happened. (He enlisted when he was seventeen.)
- My father-in-law, Col. Sidney C. Bruce (deceased), who had a distinguished career in the Air Force. He served in both the European and Pacific theaters and then went on to serve in the Pentagon as the Secretary to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
- My brother-in-law, Col. Philip W. Bruce (deceased), who also had a distinguished career in the Air Force. He graduated from the Air Force Academy. He then served in Vietnam and eventually became a highly-honored instructor at the Test Pilot School.
There are scores of others, including many, many friends who have served in the military. I am eternally grateful for their service and want to take this opportunity to honor them on this special day.