I enlisted in the Navy in February of 1990 and am a veteran of Desert Storm. It would be something to say that I saw some things that affected me forever, but that didn’t happen. I was still in Nuclear Power School at the time.
That doesn’t really matter though. What does matter is that hundreds of thousands of men and women have given their lives fighting while in military service to this country. Today, we are to remember them.
We are to remember them, our countrymen – men and women just like us. They may have enlisted for service and in some cases they might have been drafted. They came from all walks of life and served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, National Guard – people as varied of background, personality and social status as there are grains of sand at the beaches of Normandy. People whose reasons for serving are just as varied.
They served and many died serving.
Were they protecting our freedom? Some of them, yes, but not all – our government is nothing if not a propaganda machine. I am of the opinion that our country’s last Great Cause, one that actually did threaten our freedoms, was World War Two, but I do not let my opinion diminish the sacrifice our service men and women have made since that time. After all, my father served during the Vietnam War and I served 20 years after that.
So, no matter how you feel about the reasons our country has gone to war, do not let it taint the memory of those who died serving in the military. They are your neighbors, teachers, civil servants – your sons and daughters. Your Family.
There are only two words you need to say this Memorial Day: