This Memorial Day, Remember Our Military Families
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05/22/09 | Suzanne Hogan, Special Assistant to The Librarian of Congress; Military Wife & Daughter | 5 Comments

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The American Flag at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. Photo from jcolman Flickr photostream.

Suzanne Hogan is a military wife and daughter. In this piece, she honors the families that have sacrificed their sons and daughters -- reminding us that it is because of their sacrifices that we can honor Memorial Day this Monday.

I saw a mom today, with her boy. There she stood letting go of his hand as he walked towards uncertainty. There he stood looking back at his life and all things familiar. I saw a mom today with her boy.

I saw a boy today with his mom. He moved forward, one small step at a time, turning every few seconds, to look at her. He offered her a smile that she most certainly has seen a thousand times before, yet this time…. that smile will be imprinted in her memory… forever.

I saw a mom today, with her boy. She waved to him as if to signal…see you later. Yet… there was a hesitation in the motion…a tremble in her hand. There is no confidence or exuberance within her grasp today. Her boy is leaving her behind, in the middle of an airport, at the rope line, with security and thousand of travelers; travelers who gripe and snarl and snipe at the added layers of questions and metal detectors and sentinels and interrogators and strangers that enter into their lives, requesting odd things like… remove your coat, take off your shoes, empty your pockets…. I saw a mom today with her boy.

I saw a boy today, with his mom. He is flying away to take care of the things that irritate us at airports. He is flying away to a life he most likely never dreamed of when he was a little boy, just five years younger ago; a boy who played Wii and Guitar Hero, and shot paintballs…a boy who listened to Kanye, Coldplay, and Green Day on his Ipod…and who dreamed of Britney and Beyonce and Giselle.

I saw a mom today, with her boy. She solemnly watched him fly away from his “souped-up” car and his PDA and his room with all of the posters, and that worn-out cozy comforter that she stitched for him three years ago…

I saw a mom today, with her boy. There she stood letting go of his hand and holding on to the last glimpse of him as he passed out of her sight, and out of her arms. There she stood, almost silent, trying to speak his name but the tears and pain would not release her words. Her boy is gone…to do a man’s job; yet, he will always be her boy.

* * *

…I saw a mom today, with her boy. She was leaving for work with a cup of coffee and a backward glance towards her boy asleep on the couch…home from his college books and last night’s party. My boy is home…and her boy is not. I do not know her name, but I will never forget her face.
Yes, I saw a mom today with her boy; there she stood, letting go of his hand...

Give her strength and keep him smart, give her hope and keep him safe, give her peace and keep him strong.

I saw a Mom today with her boy’s picture. Bring him safely home.

* * *

During this Memorial Day weekend, Moms will continue to take their sons and daughters to the airport to leave for distant and hostile sands. As we celebrate our freedoms and embrace a respite from our work week, let us never forget our troops and the families who helped to make this weekend possible.

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  • aw

    Posted by glory567, 14 August 2009.

  • Glad to read your post :)

    Posted by John Travista, 12 August 2009.

  • Very Proud of it...Hope there's other people that is like her.

    Posted by iphonetouch123, 16 July 2009.

  • really feeling proud hats off

    Posted by joshrenalds2009, 11 July 2009.

  • aw

    Posted by lilikat69, 8 July 2009.