I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, So Help Me God.
Most of us have never said these, or even heard these words before. However, a select few of us, me included, have not only heard, but said these words. For me, it was an honorable and somber experience. There were about 40 other young men and a handful of women in the room with me, all of us joining the various services.
The levity of those words bore fruit on September 11, 2001. I knew on that day enemies, both foreign and domestic, had attacked and would kill some of my friends and maybe even me. I started taking inventory of everyone I had met since joining and wondered who would make it; fearing whose funeral I would attend. In the same wave of emotion was an uncontrollable sense of duty and honor. I knew I was a small cog in the massive effort to insure the freedoms held by so many would endure.
Since our country’s birth, millions of men and women have taken the oath to defend this country. While it is true that all gave some and some gave all, our country endures. Despite our differences, whether they are race, gender, religious or sexual preferences, America endures.
On this Memorial Day, please take a moment and remember the fallen. Remember those who took the oath to defend America and promised to do everything in their power to make sure you can sleep tonight knowing you are free.
We at The Palace bow our heads in respect to all the brave men and women who have given their life for us, and to the families of the fallen.