While Miss Wingman doesn’t usually delve into serious matters terribly often (unless you count romance serious business – which I do), sometimes a moment of pause is necessary.

Such is the case today, on this most solemn of holidays. In this most stellar of countries, filled with these most remarkable of citizens. Sure she’s got her flaws, but the let no one ever say the fabric of America isn’t woven with the integrity of the people who call her home.

While much is written about the sacrifice that our military men and women make to serve our country – not to mention the sacrifice made by their families – it is a rare piece of work that can make us truly understand that experience. I’ve had occasion not only to write about the personal stories of those affected by the loss of war, but also to have lost friends of my own. Neither of these facts qualify me to speak adequately on their behalf, but I’d like to honor them just the same.

Much of what Miss Wingman encourages is for you to strive to be great men. And I can think of no greater men (and women!) than those who put their own needs aside and step up to the line for the benefit of us all. Whether it’s stories like this one giving a face to the fallen, or the man who’s running across the country right now to “honor the fallen by challenging the living” (donate!), outstanding tributes are all around us.

But the most powerful thing I’ve seen recently was the film below, based on the true story of Lt. Col. Mike Strobl’s experience when he volunteered to escort the body of Pfc. Chance Phelps home in 2004. I can’t recommend it enough, honestly. So today, while you’re enjoying a sun-drenched BBQ with your loved ones, take a moment to remember those families who have an empty seat at the dinner table. And to the ones we memorialize I just say this: we can salute you and wave flags all day long, but perhaps the best way to show our honor is simply to say, “Thank you.”

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