Today is a day of gratitude. A day to pause and give thanks for the thousands upon thousands of men and women who put their lives at risk each and every day to protect us. And a day to remember those who have come before us who fought to preserve the foundation upon which this country was built.

A foundation that declares all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Since the birth of our great nation, more than 1,346,000 service men and women have died to protect our freedoms. Freedoms we often take for granted. Freedoms that others across the globe could never even fathom having. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to equal justice…

We are forever indebted to their selfless acts of love and sacrifice for this country. And the best way we can thank them is by waking up each day giving thanks for the ability to have a life, pursuing whatever it is that makes us happy, and giving back to those around us as they so generously gave to us.

Happy Memorial Day!

In honor of:

Ralph Pedersen,Β Peter Pedersen, Shawn McKibben,

Jordan Mark Clapp Jr.,Β Lila Schaffenburg &Β William Schaffenburg

Photo courtesy of Kristy K. James