(MoneyWatch) Each Memorial Day, I remove my financial commentator/analyst hat and write as a member of a family that lost a brave soul. Our beloved nephew 1st Lieutenant Michael L. LiCalzi USMC entered the Marine Corps after graduating from Annapolis in 2006. He died on May 11, 2006 in Anbar Provence, Iraq, six weeks into his first tour of duty.
Michael is one of the 6,440 U.S. service members who have died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which includes Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom. To learn more about some of those committed soldiers, I urge you to visit the Washington Post's "Faces of the Fallen", a collection of information about each U.S. service member who
has died in these wars. Before you dive into the statistics on the site, spend a few minutes looking at the photographs. You won't learn about who these men and women really were, but you will see the faces behind the numbers.
While I understand that many Americans have "war fatigue," my hope is that on this Memorial day, people stop and remember our brave, fallen soldiers. Maybe that means spending some time on the Faces of the Fallen web site, attending your town's parade, thanking a soldier who served or even just bowing your head and remembering that this day is more than an excuse for a barbeque. These seemingly small gestures mean a great deal to families of the fallen and help honor those who gave so much.