Remembering Ray Joseph

It's Memorial Day 2014 ... a time to remember.
A time to thank.
A time to honor.
A time to hope.

It's also my daughter's 21st birthday. I cannot believe
that my little girl is officially an adult.

And while my heart celebrates with Kaitlyn,
it still aches for my friends Michael and Deborah,
whose son gave his life at Kaitlyn's age back in 2003,
fighting for freedom in Iraq.
Just after 9/11, Ray Joseph decided 
to put his college education on hold
to go and help the Iraqi children.
He wanted something better for them.

The word "accident" doesn't really tell the story ... at all ...
but I'd much rather remember how he lived than how he died.

We must always remember this incredible young soldier
and all of those like him who have given the ultimate sacrifice
so that we could enjoy today with our families and friends.
We must not forget their families either.
This heartbreaking ballad brilliantly captures what it must be like
in the wake of losing a loved one in the line of duty.
I simply cannot imagine ...

So today I'm dedicating this post with eternal gratitude
to Hutch and his family and friends.
He died a true American hero.
My hero.

An original painting by Deborah Hutchinson

Our hero.

We must find a way to make peace
so that his heroic sacrifice not be for naught.

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