American flag

Today we remember our fallen angels who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Today we remember those who are away from their families to ensure that we are next to ours. Today we honor our veterans by trying to follow their example.

The U.S. military was one of the pioneer institutions that opened its doors to desegregation and has fought for equal treatment of all service members. Indeed, veterans who stand shoulder to shoulder as brothers and sisters should try to look past each other’s differences in regards to race, gender, religion, social class, and sexual orientation.

None of that should matter because they are brothers and sisters in arms and have a common link. They are all Americans. They share the same mission – defending our nation and friends against oppressors. Veterans are our nation’s heroes and should be our role models.

Why do we face so many issues in our country pertaining to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious differences among us, even though we, too, share the common link of all being Americans?

Why can’t we, too, stand shoulder to shoulder as do our brothers and sisters in the Armed Forces? We, too, should have the same mission of making our country better and fighting for what is right.

Staff Sergeant Kashif Memon, 31, killed in Afghanistan.
Staff Sergeant Kashif Memon, 31, killed in Afghanistan.

The U.S. Army Special Forces has a motto, “De Oppresso Liber,” which it translates as meaning, “Liberate the Oppressed.” We, too, must liberate the oppressed, the marginalized people, groups and communities in our country by supporting them in their basic rights and by encouraging equal treatment of all the people, regardless of their background.

That is what our country is based upon. Justice!

As for remembering: I personally want to remember today my beloved friend and my fellow brother-in-arms SSG Kashif Memon, 31, who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending our nation in Afghanistan in 2012. We served together in the same unit in the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) out of Fort Bragg, N.C.

Rest in peace brother. Rest in peace all the heroes of our proud nation!

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