SSG Edwin Rivera | A Memorial Day Remembrance

SSG Edwin Rivera

When people say they “support the troops,” I understand it’s shorthand for honoring the 186,000 individuals in uniform serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Shorthand is more efficient, but on Memorial Day I think longhand is more appropriate. The loss of a husband or wife, a brother or sister, a mother or father, a son or daughter, an aunt or uncle, a niece or nephew, a friend — is felt most intensely by individuals, not groups.

Pain, death and grief are written in longhand, and recognizing these losses should be in longhand, too.

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