FighterSweep Fans, thank you so much for taking the time to spend a part of your day with us–your presence doesn’t go unnoticed, and it means a great deal.

Please remember this holiday. Memorial Day, is a day set aside to remember the brave men and women who died in service of our great nation; however, it does NOT mean the day should be spent in mourning.

As a general rule, veterans tend to celebrate the lives of the fallen instead of mourning their deaths. They joke about their own misfortunes and laugh at times they went toe-to-toe with Death and gave him a black eye or bloody nose.

SOS students honor fallen pilot
In very classic fighter pilot tradition, a piano burns in honor of the fallen during a recent gathering. (Photo by Melanie Cox/DVIDS)

A little-known fact? A lot of veterans have written into their wills an appropriation of money, usually in excess of $5,000, which has the sole purpose of funding an epic send-off bash, should they pay the ultimate price for the freedoms we all enjoy.

So on this Memorial Day, enjoy yourselves. Grill some burgers, drink some beer, and have a great time. We only ask you to toast those who are no longer with us. Pour some out for those brave souls who gave all so that we can enjoy ourselves. Just remember that they are the reason we’re celebrating. And they would want you to celebrate.

Mano. Pyro. Moose. Nancy. Cabbie. Piston. 11. Gaza…and so many more too young and gone far too soon.

“To those before us, to those amongst us, and to those we will see on the other side: Lord Almighty, let us not prove unworthy of our brothers and sisters.”



This article was originally published in May 2016. It has been edited for republication.