As a former Marine general who now heads the Department of Homeland Security, John Kelly has a perspective on the war on terrorism few Americans can share.
But as the father of a Marine killed in combat in Afghanistan seven years ago, he understands personally just how much America’s families have sacrificed when they send a son or daughter to the violence of war.
That understanding was on full display during a Memorial Day weekend interview with “Fox & Friends,” when Kelly remembered the son he lost.
And he had a request for Americans who haven’t been so personally touched.
“We don’t need Memorial Day if you’re a Gold Star family member, you think about him or her every single day, in fact, hundreds of times a day,” Kelly told his hosts.
“But what Memorial Day, in my mind, is good for is Americans to remember the many men and women over our history. The men and women who’ve given their life for this country in combat.
“So on Memorial Day, even if you’re at the beach or taking advantage of some mattress sale somewhere, think about that, think about that.”
Kelly’s son, Marine 1st Lt. Robert Kelly died in combat against in the Taliban in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province in November, 2010, according to Military Times.
His father described him as “the finest man I ever knew.”
In the era of the all-volunteer military, only a tiny percentage of American families actually have a son or daughter serving in uniform.
But that doesn’t mean all Americans can’t take time to appreciate the sacrifice of those who are fighting to keep the country free and safe.
As Kelly pointed out, for Gold Star families, every day is Memorial Day when it comes to remembering the loved ones they lost.
For the rest of America, every day should be a small Memorial Day, too.
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