Memorial Day: Thank a vet

It’s Memorial Day. Memorial Day for many means barbecues, maybe a trip to the lake. We’re far enough removed from war that it’s mostly become another excuse for a three-day weekend. Yes, we fought a war 10 years ago, but it was so quick it didn’t really seem like war, and it was undeclared. And our previous administration involved us in plenty of skirmishes, but that wasn’t exactly war either. And I know, to many of us Vietnam seems like it was just yesterday, just like the first Bush administration seems like it was just yesterday to me, but Vietnam was long enough ago that there’s an entire generation of adults who view it exclusively as an historical event–by the time I was born, we were out of there.
One of the elders at church told me this week that 1.2 million U.S. soldiers have died in combat over the course of our history. That’s a lot of lives to gain and protect our freedom. And yes, as screwed up as our country is, we’re still a lot better off than much of the world. The dangers we face today are the dangers of our own making. There is no foreign dragon looming over our heads waiting to devour us.

So if you know any veterans, thank them the next time you see them. If you don’t, at least take a minute to thank God for their sacrifice.

3 thoughts on “Memorial Day: Thank a vet

  • May 28, 2001 at 6:08 pm
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    My dad is, and my brother was, a vet. Dad served in the Air Force during WWII. My brother volunteered for the draft during Vietnam – when a whole lot of people were dodging it – and gave his life in action. I never knew him (he died before I was born), but I carry his name as my middle name. Both of them make me proud to have their surname.

    Far too much, our society views holidays as simply a day off from work. This obviously misses the point. Today, I’ve been thinking about how thankful I am to those who made it possible to have this day – and every day – free.

  • May 28, 2001 at 8:34 pm
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    I agree that as a society we view days like today as just another day off. But on the flip side, companies view it as just another "Let’s have a sale day!" Not sure where the middle ground is on that one.

    Both my grandfathers served this country in WWII, and I have both their dog tags hanging above my bed. You can’t walk out of my room with out seeing them.

  • May 29, 2001 at 9:12 am
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    My Dad was a WWII vet, and my stepmother (having just moved to a new house) has finally found alot of his service things in a back store room. It was quite a Memorial Day having his medals, POW ID card and other, various bits of Army paperwork to go through…

    Just for the record: PFC George T. Huff, U.S. Army 3rd Inf. Div., light machine gunner. North Africa, Anzio and the Battle of Rome. POW at Stalag 7B, liberated when Patton moved through Germany. Purple Heart, Good Conduct medal, campaign ribbons for N. Africa & the Mediterranean, field promotion to Corporal. I miss you, Dad.

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