Every Memorial Day for as long as I can remember has been spent attending parades and cook outs with family and friends. Paying tribute to our brave and dedicated troops that unselfishly risk all that they are to protect us and our personal freedoms that we so often take for granted. But this year feels very different to me. Just this past month a high school classmate of mine lost her son in the war in Afghanistan. Her son had only just been deployed a few months ago and I know she was wrought with worry and concern from the time he left. Then just a few weeks ago, she received the call that he had been injured by flying shrapnel and as soon as he was stable, was going to be airlifted to Germany for medical care. It was only a matter of a week and we received the news that he had passed away.

Her son, Sam, was the same age as my son, 22 years old. My heart just breaks for her and her family. I cannot even imagine the heartbreak and loss that this family will endure for the rest of their lives. I cannot even imagine losing my child or any other child to war.

These selfless brave souls are mothers, daughters and sisters and fathers, brothers and sons who are all loved. I am praying today especially for the end of this war and all wars around the world and that someday the world will truly exist in peace with mutual respect for all of our differences.