Today we celebrate a bittersweet holiday in memory of all of the men and women who have lost their lives defending the United States of America.  We can only wish that whatever differences we have in policy, values or interests with other nations might find a resolution other than armed conflict.  We honor those who’ve served and made that profound sacrifice and keep their memories alive.  Thank all of you who are veterans or are currently serving.

I may be getting increasingly naïve as I get older, but I can’t help but feel ‘it shouldn’t be so hard to achieve peace.’  Events in Ukraine of course, show us otherwise.

I have to say that this week has been under a pall by the murders of 19 elementary school children and two beloved teachers, in Uvalde, Texas.  And, so soon after 10 people, all African Americans, were murdered in a grocery store in Buffalo, NY.

Tuesday late afternoon I spent a couple of hours with my soon to be 3 year old granddaughter who is recovering from pneumonia, while her Mom had to keep an appointment.  I was carrying in my heart Saylor’s bright innocence on the way home when I heard the reports of the shooting.  Such unimaginable pain and loss for those families and that small community.

When I saw those 19 shining faces in the paper the next day –some proudly with honor roll certificates—I had to weep.  All the things those children would never get to do or achieve.  The hole which will always be in those families.

Our work is so meaningful, and while you can never know what alternate future might have occurred , I believe we steer children and families to a way of living which prevents the horrific from occurring.

So, while we have today to remember those who’ve given their lives to a grateful nation, I will also be remembering how blessed I feel to be part of this team which is truly building better futures for children, families and community.

Thank you for all you do, and please, be safe.