Those of you who follow this blog know that I am a fan of those who defend our freedom and protect us each day–police, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, those who maintain vital services–and our Armed Forces service members, whatever their branch of the service, and whether they are active or a veteran.

Let us especially observe this Memorial Day with love in our hearts for all our brothers and sisters who have so valiantly given all for our country. Remember that patriots come in all colors, from all faith traditions, and from a variety of gender identifications. On this Memorial Day, let us resolve to reach out in love, not create divisions out of hatred, bias and suspicion.

I know. Easy to say, harder to do. But not as hard as what they did for us.

IMAGES: I am indebted to the Crossfit Reston/Crossfit Fairfax blog for the composite image at the top of this post, and to Dorian deWind’s 2013 article on the Huffington Post for the “three faiths” headstone image.