Aaron Fairbairn and so many others have given all they possibly could on our behalf. It is the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice over the years that enable us to celebrate enthusiastically on Independence Day, the 4th of July.
Aaron so loved celebrating the 4th of July with our family in an annual reunion usually in Seaside, Oregon, a coastal town, not far from our Aberdeen, Washington hometown. Aaron thoroughly enjoyed the excitement of it all, especially firing off his own fireworks and viewing the local fireworks spectacle of Seaside’s Independence Day celebrations.
It seems somewhat a twist of fate, that he would be killed by military fireworks while in combat in Paktika, Afghanistan during a surprise attack on his base of the 4th of July.
The day, when we would have been celebrating with Aaron in proxy (as we all had spoken to him the evening of July 3rd) on this day, Aaron’s mother, sister and brother were on a flight to Dover, to await Aaron’s return to U.S. soil.
I was there, when he took the oath to serve, even pledged to die, if necessary, for our country. To tell you the truth, I never thought he would have to pay that price for his service, or that Aaron’s life would end like this, at 20-years-old, on his first tour.
Today, and on every 4th of July now, we still gather (now as separate families) celebrating the 4th of July with a much more somber respect and attitude than before Aaron’s passing… And I know that we are not alone.
There are so many families and friends of those who have answered the call and given their all. We honor them, their sacrifice, and the loss of the ones left behind to honor the memories of their service, without which we would not enjoy the lives that we live.
A huge “Thank You,” and a slow salute for all the fallen and the friends and families with whom we share this honor.