Those gone before

Today we remember those who have gone before, and shed their life’s blood so that we can do frivolous things like go shopping and out to eat. And some very un-frivolous things such as speak our minds without fear and worship, or not, according to our conscience.

The American experiment has survived insurrection, treason, and the stain of human bondage and racism. It will survive now, even as we are engaged in a questionable war which we choose to fight in half-hearted fashion, schizoid, not really knowing if our armed forces are meant to kill or rebuild.

One of the glories that is America is that we may voice our opinions on this and most any other subject, and to hell with any government agent, or government critic, who disagrees.

On a lighter (but not really) note, one of the things I like to do on Memorial Day is watch my favorite World War II epic: Band of Brothers, based on the travails of Easy Company in the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment — Rangers. Dick Winters, the protaganist, exemplified what is best about the American fighting man. And what is best among our officers and noncoms: leadership, meaning exactly that: Being in front, and up front with your men, and never, ever, ordering them to do something that you are not able and willing to do yourself. Or that you’ve already done.

There is not an iota of doubt that WWII was a good and just war. Even if some of the things our men did were less than fully honorable, when viewed from the safety of our homes half a century later.

At the time and place, our men did what they had to do to preserve our freedom. And make no mistake — nothing less than our freedom was at stake. As it is today.

To those who have served; to those who are serving, and, especially, to those who have given their lives for us: Thank you, and may God bless you.

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