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Alive day

For our generation of wounded veterans, one day a year is special. It’s the day they didn’t die.

Alive Day is not, strictly speaking, a formal thing, and probably not something you’ve ever heard of if you haven’t had the occasion to celebrate it or are not part of the military. It certainly isn’t something national, like Veterans Day or Memorial Day. But to American soldiers who have been wounded—physically, mentally, or both—in battle, Alive Day is a very real thing: It is the anniversary of the day you were wounded, the day your life changed. The day you could have been killed, or were almost killed, but weren’t. It’s the day death came right alongside you, and maybe took some of your friends, but didn’t take you. You may have survived with terrible wounds, maybe wounds nobody but you can see, but the fact is, you survived. You’re alive. And that’s a fact worth celebrating.

~Stephen Madden

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