The last Monday in May is Memorial Day, a federal holiday for remembering those who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces. I began to develop an understanding of the true meaning of Memorial Day approximately ten years ago while working with elderly clients in my legal practice. I had the opportunity to meet Veterans who served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. I heard firsthand their stories of war: their accomplishments, their sorrows, their fears, and their nightmares.
My understanding of the importance of Memorial Day continued to grow when I started CrossFit five years ago. CrossFit celebrates those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom by dedicating a Hero WOD in their honor. These WODs are tough. They push you mentally and physically. Every time I see a Hero WOD programmed, I make it a point to look up that service member’s bio in order find out more about them and to honor them and their family in some small way. The sad part is there are too many Hero WODs.
CrossFit has also introduced me to a new generation of Veterans. Veterans who fought in the Iraq War, and those who continue to fight the War on Terror. They were not drafted. They believe in this country and they are willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice in her service. They and their families are some of the most unselfish people I have ever met.
On Saturday, May 23, 2015, 55 of our athletes came together to pay tribute to the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice by participating in WOD with Warriors. The WOD is named “21 Guns” and consists of five movements. The name represents the 21 Gun Salute, which is the highest display of honor, appropriately reserved for our fallen troops on Memorial Day. The WOD is intended to replicate this honor with a 21-minute workout and 21 repetitions of five exercises for each of the branches of the military. It was an honor to participate in this event alongside our CFG Veterans and Heroes.
May 25, 2015, will be the day that we will remember the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice. It will also be 11th anniversary of the death of Army Pfc. James P. Lambert. Lambert was killed while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom when an IED hit his patrol in Fallujah, Iraq.
Many of us will never fully understand the true meaning of Memorial Day. We will never know the heartaches of these fallen Warriors’ friends and families. I hope I never take another Memorial Day for granted. Thank you to all who have served.