Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

In my local newspaper, Jim Kerr actually came up with a decent column for Memorial Day.

...When I stop to think about it, my indifference seems to reflect the way many people in this country have grown to view the war in Iraq.

Unless we have a loved one directly involved, the war has become sort of an annoyance, a source of strife that we hear about every day, just like high gas prices and the poor economy.

Many of us would rather just relegate it to the back of our minds or forget about it altogether.

But regardless of personal feelings about the war, as Americans, we can’t forget or neglect the brave men and women faithfully serving and sacrificing for this nation. We owe them a debt of gratitude and a measure of honor and respect...

...So, on Memorial Day, join me in acknowledging the names of some recent war casualties as released by the Department of Defense. I don’t have space here to list all the names from even one month, but here is a representative list of deaths from a randomly selected workweek – April 21-25:

• Spec. Lance O. Eakes, 25, Apex, N.C.

• Spec. Benjamin K. Brosh, 22, Colorado Springs, Colo.

• Spec. Steven J. Christofferson, 20, Cudahy, Wis.

• Sgt. Adam J. Kohlhaas, 26, Perryville, Mo.

• 1st Lt. Matthew R. Vandergrift, 28, Littleton, Colo.

• Lance Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter, 19, Sag Harbor, N.Y.

• Cpl. Jonathan T. Yale, 21, Burkeville, Va.

• Staff Sgt. Ronald C. Blystone, 34, Springfield, Mo.

• Staff Sgt. Shaun J. Whitehead, 24, Commerce, Ga.

Each of these names and many more like them represents a community in mourning. For each one, there’s a tearful widow or grieving mother seated in a cemetery and accepting a neatly folded American flag graciously presented by a sharply dressed military officer.

As a nation, we need to remember that, especially on Memorial Day.

So, before you fire up the grill or head off to the swimming pool today, take a moment to hang a flag from the front porch and pay tribute to the Americans who have died and are still dying in service to this nation.

They deserve that much. (emphasis mine)

On this day, remember those who selflessly do their duty for our benefit.

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