This weekend we remember …
… the men and women who gave all in wars over the decades and even centuries, in defense of our country. I haven’t agreed with some of the wars we’ve found ourselves in, but I take nothing away from the courage of those who served. It doesn’t matter whether they were drafted or enlisted, whether out of patriotism or to get GI Bill benefits. When they were called to serve, they served sacrificially.
No generation is untouched by war, and all have lost too many people to war. For me as a baby boomer, it was people I knew from high school dying in Vietnam – and others who made it back getting far from a hero’s welcome. For my dad, a World War II vet, he lost people he served next to, and friends and classmates. He didn’t talk much about it – many veterans carry secrets they never talk about. For this generation it’s Iraq and Afghanistan that have taken such a toll.
My thoughts are with parents who lost children to war, and children who lost parents. I pray for spouses who lost partners, siblings who lost brothers or sisters, soldiers who lost dear comrades and platoon leaders, and in a special way the survivors of those who could not make the adjustment back to civilian life and terminated their lives – one of the ultimate tragedies of war.
On Memorial Day weekend a number of years ago I was watching an episode of a show called Doc, and I was introduced to a song by Billy Ray Cyrus really moved me, especially in the context of the episode, which was a tribute to veterans and also to 9/11 firefighters who gave all. I want to quote the chorus today (complete lyrics here (C) 1993 Mercury Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.):
“All gave some and some gave all
And some stood through for the red, white and blue
And some had to fall
And if you ever think of me
Think of all your liberties and recall
Some gave all.”
I also remember family and friends who have left this life. The older I get, the more of them there are. I particularly remember my dad on this weekend. I have many happy memories of my dad, singing his funny songs and taking me ice skating. Dad, I remember.