Friday, May 29, 2009

A Special Memorial Day

For many back home, Memorial Day is the national holiday marking the beginning of summer. It’s a day off from work and school; there are sales and bargains for shoppers; families and friends gather for picnics; pools open and many make their first foray of the season to the beach. For us in Kabul, it was a poignant time of remembrance for the men and women in uniform who gave their lives fighting for our country, followed by another day at the office.

Our day began at 5:00 a.m. with a memorial run, in formation, led by outgoing Commanding General, David McKiernan. Afterward, in the General’s moving speech, we were reminded us of those who came before us in defense of the United States and were summoned to rededicate ourselves to making a difference in the lives of the people of Afghanistan.

The speech was bittersweet, knowing that General McKiernan will be replaced in a matter of weeks. I have great respect for him. He cares about the Afghan people and about the lives of his soldiers. While he may have had disagreements with those above him, including our President, he was loved by many and will be missed.

Here are some photos of our morning run led by General McKiernan.

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