It’s been a few days since Memorial Day.
But we, myself included, should make it a point to remember those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice on more than just the designated days.
This past Memorial Day, Trace Adkins released a new song, “Empty Chair,” which honors the men and women who have died in service of our country.
The song focuses on a common scene around the country: A group of men, probably wearing their caps identifying them as a veteran of Vietnam, or Korea. Or maybe even one of the very few remaining World War II ballcaps, sitting around a table drinking coffee at a small town breakfast place.
“They commandeer a corner table
At our small town diner
Just five or six old men
Throwing out corny old one liners
They pat the heads of children,
Give friendly nods to strangers
They sure seem quick to laugh
Makes you think they’re slow to anger”
I would see groups like this regularly where I grew up, but it wasn’t until later that I truly realized what those veteran caps and that empty chair meant.
“Those guys were front-line brothers
Their lives depended on each other
They were soldiers long before they were men
Yeah, the ones that somehow survived
Came home, went on to build their lives
Never chargin’ us a penny
For the debt we owe to them
But you can almost smell the gun smoke
And the foxholes that they shared
On the days they raise their coffees
And toast the empty chair”
The music video for the song features pictures and names of soldiers who have died while serving our country.
Some are from decades ago, some from just a few years ago, but all are heroes.
And for the men and women who served beside them, not a day goes by when they don’t think about who could have been seated in those empty chairs, the brothers and sisters they lost somewhere along the way.
I know I don’t thank these men and women enough, but I really should. You don’t have to be pro-war to be pro-warrior, and each one of them was willing to die to protect their homeland and your ability to live in peace.
We shouldn’t take for granted how special that it.