Does the number 2273 mean anything to you on this Memorial Day?
It didn’t for me until I drove past the memorial wall on Pacific Avenue in Venice last week.
The mural that was painted years ago was something I just drove passed, but on Friday I noticed that the lane was blocked off and there were people on scaffolds with stencils posted up against the wall. I pulled over to the curb and got out of my car to walk over to get a closer look.
I learned that this mural represents the 2273 POW and MIA still unaccounted for in South East Asia. I got a chill on my arms and started to tear up, I felt sad for a couple of reasons. For one, this mural had been vandalized and many of the names were painted over with graffiti. But today the volunteers were making sure that by Monday all of those missing in action and prisoners of war would have their place back on that wall. And second, I had a deep sadness for those young Americans who sacrificed their lives for our Country and the families who are still wondering and hoping that they would see their loved ones again. Or at least know where they are.
So today, this Memorial Day, wherever you are please take a moment to thank those who are not able to celebrate freedom but gave it up for us.