From Mike's Dad, Robert Stokely:
Memorial Day is a very special day. It was originally called Decoration Day: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day
It is a day we have the opportunity to stop, even for a brief moment, and Remember With Honor the 1,000,000 or so men and women who gave their lives on the field of battle to found, protect and preserve our freedoms and American way of life. A high price was paid by each one of these men and women.
Some gave their tomorrows for us to have a new today each and every day. To say they were all in is an understatement. Those who had no children committed the tomorrows of future unborn generations who will now never be born.
And their families have paid a never ending price as well. When I have been asked what I think the cost of Freedom is, I answer a lifetime of love, for that is what the Families of the Fallen bear each day as they remember the loved one they lost. Memorial Day is a day for happiness and celebration, and well we all should, for a high price was paid that we might do so in freedom and security from the enemies who would wipe us off the face of the earth, but for the 1,000,000 who have gave their lives for you and I.
Some ask me from time to time how to make it better for the Families of the Fallen. I don't think there is but one real way to make it better, but that is not going to happen for no person has the power to give us back the loved one we lost. But it is helpful, at least to me, to know that people care what my son, SGT Mike Stokely, gave America and I would suggest others who have lost someone in war would feel the same way.
The best way in my eyes to show you care is to Make it Matter. Love America as much as the 1,000,000 have shown they loved America. Live life fully and enjoy the freedom that has been preserved for you. And, when you get an opportunity, even if it is only a small one, care about someone around you, whether a stranger, friend or family member and give a little of yourself to make it better for them. And on this Memorial Day, if only for a brief moment, Remember With Honor 1,000,000 and those yet to come, who have made the sacrifice of a Lifetime of Love. They have entrusted their forever to you.
proud dad SGT Mike Stokely
KIA 16 AUG 05 near Yusufiyah Iraq
USA E 108 CAV 48th Brigade Combat Team Georgia Army National Guard
DUTY HONOR COUNTRY
Mike's grave yesterday.
We are the Land of the Free, because of the Brave, who volunteer to defend all that the Star Spangled Banner represents.
Remember them ALL - and their families - with honour.