ARLINGTON, VA — MAY 27: Mary McHugh mourns her dead fiance Sgt. James Regan at “Section 60” of the Arlington National Cemetery May 27, 2007. Regan, an American Special Forces soldier, was killed by an IED explosion in Iraq in February of this year, and this was the first time McHugh had visited the grave since the funeral. Section 60, the newest portion of the vast national cemetery on the outskirts of Washington D.C, contains hundreds of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Family members of slain American soldiers have flown in from across the country for Memorial Day. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
This photo has always represented Memorial Day for me. Both the people who have sacrificed and lay under the tombstones and the families they leave behind. The pain for them will never end.
Sergeant Regan was a member of Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. He’d attended Duke, where he helped lead their lacrosse team to two ACC championships, and graduated with a degree in economics. Instead of going to Wall Street, deeply affected by the events of 9–11, he enlisted.
He left behind his parents, three sisters and his fiancee.
He is typical of those who answer the call to duty.
This is the meaning of Memorial Day.
Originally published at bobmayer.com on May 28, 2018.