This is a day for remembering those who have fallen in service to our country, men and women who died in uniform while seeking to gain, secure and preserve the freedom that has made America a beacon of hope for well over two centuries.
That we owe them much is obvious, that we can do nothing for them anymore is simply the truth. But we can at least pay them our respects.
Not every war is just and not every death in service to our nation has been worth the terrible cost. But that in no way dimishes the valor of those who followed orders to the end or detracts from our responsibility to honor their sacrifices.
As a country, we have told our troops to fight for causes large and small and we have seen them die all over the globe, from the sands of Tarawa to snowy forests of the Ardennes, from the trenches of Seichepry to the blasted remains of Fallujah.
There is only one constant: that men and women fighting for our flag willingly put their lives on the line for us, going wherever they are sent, trying to protect each other and do their duty.
Some come home to us mostly intact, others are broken in body or spirit, or both. Some perish.
On Memorial Day, we try to remember them, to tell their stories and to tend their graves.
We should also pray that against all odds war can be driven from the earth forever. For there is no greater good we can do for our honored dead than to allow them, truly, to rest in peace.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org