Our fallen soldiers didn't sacrifice their lives for Americans to sit around and sulk on Memorial Day. But per your freedoms safeguarded by their selfless service, you have the right to disagree with me.

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But before you write me off, you should know a few things. As the daughter of a United States Marine who served the Chicago Fire Department for 32 years, I know more than a thing or two about Veteran and First Responder culture. And as a military spouse for the past 14 years, I consider it a privilege to elaborate on how the men and women of our Armed Forces celebrate those who have fallen at their side.

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They train hard. They work hard. And they do whatever it takes to protect the ones on their right and left. When one of their own doesn't make it home, they're never the same.

The wife of a Special Operations soldier, I can speak to the immeasurable significance of one service member bonding with another over a beer and the shared experience of losing a brother or sister in action.

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If you think it's all back-slaps and TED talks, you've got it wrong. More often than most realize, Veterans cope with trauma through humor that's as dark as their coffee and as dank as the memes in their phone.

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They didn't lose a co-worker. They lost out on a lifetime with their best friend. But despite the invisible wounds of war that never fully heal, come Memorial Day one thing is for sure: they're celebrating.

It's beer, burgers, and cornhole with their buddies. It's letting it out after the friends are gone and the party's over. It's raising a glass to their brothers and sisters who didn't make it home. And that's exactly what all of us should be doing.

Cheers to Idaho's fallen heroes.

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Gem State patriots inclined to celebrate Memorial Day with the Idaho Division of Veterans Services are invited to attend a one-hour ceremony at Idaho State Veterans Cemetery. The ceremony, which includes a commemorative wreath presentation by local Veteran agencies, begins promptly at 10 a.m.

In a show of touching support, local members of Bugles Across America will render TAPS on their bagpipes at noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. If you have yet to experience TAPS in-person, or delivered by bagpipes, it's truly incredible. We hope to see you there!


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