A day to remember those who gave the ultimate so that we can do silly things like dress up like cowboys and play games.
Each year I'm reminded of my uncle Ted who passed on while I was young from lung cancer. He fought the disease for about a year and in that year, my parents and I visited he and his wife several times and I remember talking to Ted about everything from cars and girls to his time in military during WWII. Ted was a seabee stationed in New Guinea. Lucky for him, he didn't see much in the way of the Japanese, as he always put it, he was more in danger from the snakes falling out of trees onto his tractor than any Jap.
I always liked uncle Ted because he treated me with respect and was always a nice person who had intellegent things to say and I greatly appreciated that he served his country but was more impressed by the kind of person he was and how he treated others. One of the memories I'll always have is having Thanksgiving dinner at his house because he was too weak to travel, I always felt that it meant a great deal to him to have his family around him, my father was the same way. Ted was always upbeat even though cancer had left him ravaged, offering advice and encouragement to me and always ready with a joke.
Ted didn't last much longer after Thanksgiving and we laid him to rest before Christmas of that year. I recall being asked to be a pallbearer at his funeral and how I felt it to be an honor to be asked. I recall how cold it was on that day, the fire from the honor guard and the short, meaningfull graveside service and the somber look on my father's face of having lost a dear brother.
I didn't know Uncle Ted for very long, but I cherish the time that I had with him and I thank God that men like him existed and still exist that keep us safe from those that would do us harm.