I am not a member of the United States military.
Nor is my husband, my father, my brother, my sister or me dear, sweet mum. In fact, the majority of people in my life are not necessarily folks who have formally performed military duties in any official capacity.
But my father-in-law, some of my late uncles, many friends, cousins, colleagues, acquaintances, one particular Marine ex-coworker and virtually an entire world of strangers have indeed, at some point in their lives, worn a uniform, carried a weapon, stood a post, guarded a building, protected a town or in some other way, served this country as a soldier.
And my sole purpose and point of today's column is to honor every single one of them.
Because, whether or not I have known a soldier personally, read about them in a narrative or periodical, watched or read a news report about them or viewed their name etched in a wall or scrawled on a plaque in a museum, history hall or some other venue / manner, I acknowledge one very important fact: I owe them everything.
As the nation enjoys barbecues, department store sales, picnics, parades and a plethora of other Memorial Day-related activities this weekend, it is incumbent upon us all to remember.
Remember how every American soldier in every war, battle, crisis, struggle or even peace-time duty, has somehow given of him or herself for me.
They don't know me. They don't recognize my name or my face. They don't have my address or recognize to which political party I belong - and they don't care.
All they care about is upholding the fundamental tenets upon which this nation was created and the honorable principles for which she stands.
They care about freedom, justice and the American way of life. They care about protecting liberties that I take for granted every day. They care about making the nation and the world a better place and ensuring that I have the right to write this column and that you have the choice and ability to read it or not.
I can never repay the debt these incredible individuals have paid for me but I can certainly give them my unending, true and fervent respect. In fact, it is the least I can do and it is a patriotic privilege I am humbled to fulfill.
I don't know what your political beliefs may be. I don't know who you supported in the last election or how you regard America's domestic or foreign policies. But I do know this: you wouldn't have the option to lend your backing to any cause, initiative, movement or even idea if someone in a uniform hadn't, in some way great or small, upheld your rights as an American at some point in our national history.
And so, I meekly and respectfully ask you to join me today (and every day) in saying a prayer for the members of the United States military - every branch, past and present - for the unimaginable sacrifices they have made and continue to make for all of us.
On this Memorial Day and every other, I ask God to bless and protect American soldiers everywhere in every way.
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist and die-hard supporter of every member of the U.S. military. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.