Monday, September 30, 2013

Stop and Remember

MacArthur Airport is located in Islip, Suffolk County, NY, heading east on Long Island. The air field is on the small side, serving a limited number of carriers, and it offers Eastern Long Islanders a conveniently located alternative to the brutal drive all the way in to JFK or LaGuardia airports.

I often fly to MacArthur when visiting my mother. One trip this year, on the way home to California, I was hurrying towards my gate when I rounded a bend and came upon this display of "Dog Tags of the Fallen." The project was started by the friends and family of a fallen U.S. Marine from Long Island. Believe me, the sight of it stopped me in my tracks for a few minutes. After I read through the placard and several rows of the name tags that were swaying, shining, and chiming on their chains, I stepped back and fished out my camera for a photo.

When I continued on my journey, I walked a bit more slowly.

With all today's news spotlights upon budget showdowns and international carnage, it's easy to forget that our troops are still fighting and dying so that we are free to hurry safely through airports. We lost one this week who, like so many others, left a young family behind. It's always worthwhile to stop and remember the troops and all they sacrifice for us, so much of which can never be repaid.