They were people were just like you and me. They got up each day and lived their lives as Americans. They went to the same schools, churches, grocery stories and ate at the same restaurants. They smiled and laughed at our jokes. They listened to the same music and watched the same movies we did. They comforted us when we were sad and we looked up to them and admired them. They sat across from us at our dinner tables and living rooms and shared with us their hopes, dreams, secrets and aspirations. We loved them and the world was a little brighter because of them. They were our ancestors, our grandfathers, our parents, our siblings, our children, cousins, or maybe just our best friend. They are now gone. They are all missed.
For the families of lost service men and women nothing can replace the heavy loss felt and the empty chair at the table. These brave few served each other, and their country paying with their lives. Some had no choice and were drafted into their country’s service; some willingly answered the call, but each ended up serving something far greater.
It has been said that only the dead have seen the end of war. The world as it is still requires vigilance against tyranny and evil and some men and women still end up paying the ultimate price to keep the peace, and preserve the nation. The good book tells us that “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” It is good and right then they we have a national holiday to remember them.
Memorial Day is not about the political correctness of the conflicts with which these men and women lost their lives; history is the final judge of that. Today on this day we put aside our correctness; our righteous indignation and protests against war and all its causes. Today we just celebrate our loved ones and their tragic, final sacrifices made… and remember them with heartfelt gratitude.