It’s Memorial Day! Spring is here, summer is swiftly approaching, schools are letting out, swimming pools are opening, families and friends are getting together for fun and food and fellowship. Enjoy it!
But please take a few moments to remember what today is all about. The freedom we’re enjoying didn’t come easily, and it most certainly didn’t come free. Please think about the 1.4 million men and women who gave their lives for our freedom.
One of those I think of is my great-great-great uncle, William Leach. He was mustered into Company B of the 115th Illinois Infantry on September 13, 1862 in Okaw, Illinois, at the age of 22. We found out after we moved to Middle Tennessee that his unit was involved in the Tullahoma Campaign, and it’s entirely possible that he actually walked or camped where our front yard is now, at sometime during that campaign. We don’t really know how or where or when, but he was captured and became a prisoner of war at Andersonville Prison. He died there on September 10, 1864, of scurvy and starvation. Private William Leach is buried at Site 8464 at Andersonville National Cemetery.
Wars are made by politicians, but the military men and women who answer the call are the ones who lay down their lives to protect and defend friends, families, and freedom. 1.4 million American men and women have done that.
This is their day.