For many students, Memorial Day means little more than the opening of swimming pools, sales on patriotic t-shirts, and the end of the school year.
For anyone who lived in the 1940s, Memorial Day is a time to remember loved ones who’ve passed on and to honor those who sacrificed their lives fighting for our country. Some of those people are the same.
During World War II, almost every family lost a son, husband, uncle, cousin, neighbor, or close friend. WW II was everyone’s war. Two of my mother’s and two of my father’s brothers served. One never came home.
Today most of us turn the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on or off with the remote control. Now that we have all-volunteer armed services, relatively few families experience the terrible fear or grief that war inevitably brings.
Like many others, I ache for those who deal with the insanity of war and those who pray for them to come home alive and unscathed. I also wonder whether our leaders would not find a way to end wars sooner if the entire citizenry rather than a small percentage knew and loved a soldier.