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More than a Memory

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Though the ultimate sacrifice can never be reciprocated, it must be remembered.

Memorial Day should make you stop and think. That, as petty and trite as it sounds on a day where America remembers her fallen heroes, is our duty. We owe it to those who laid down their lives, and those they left behind, to be aware of where freedom comes from; it's a very real place, far from any map, found in the hearts and minds of those who fight for more than themselves. Though the ultimate sacrifice can never be reciprocated, it must be remembered.     

Collectively, there is a certain fallibility in our frame of reference, a real-life relativity where we move on where others can't. It's such a humbling realization, that someone, somewhere, died upholding the ideals we hold dear, that, in the depths of our soul, we sometimes shy away. Internally, that's a battle we can't lose. Being comfortable and being complacent are two different things.

There is great power in perspective; we can never lose sight of those that gave all. 

A soldier isn't a statistic; a soldier is a son or daughter, a father or mother, a husband or wife, a brother or sister. Each has a story, each with a dream. The uniform is the armor, not the knight.

After death, they live on through those that loved them and, in some ways, just as poignantly, in the routines of others who did not. Even unknowingly, toes in the sand are a testament to the courage shown on Normandy's beaches, kites in the air an homage to the skies over Saint Mihiel. Monday is a mosaic of names and faces, a red, white and blue explanation of who, what, when, where and why. 

More than a memory, the actions of those no longer with us should be a staggering motivation. Many charged ahead so that we could march on.  

The finish of the playing of "Taps" isn't the end of the line, it's, instead, the point where lives and legacies cross; it's the continuation of 240-year effort, the likes of which the world has never before seen. At that outpost, heroes gone, but not forgotten, still stand on guard.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports