Memorial Day is a day to remember those who gave their lives in the service of our country this year it takes on a particularly poignant meaning as our sons and daughters find themselves caught in the quagmire of Iraq. Today we honor the memory of those who died for their country and we keep in our hearts and prayers those who are placing their lives on the line fighting a war that appears to become more futile every day.
While we debate the merits and the politics of the war on Iraq, the men and women serving in the Armed Services are not afforded the luxury of debate, they by the very nature of being soldiers, follow orders and go where they are needed. It is their duty to serve, to fight, and put their lives in harms way, they represent the United States, they represent and fight for you and I. Because of all this we honor, support, and remember the men and women who serve.
Memorial Day began in 1866 in Waterloo, New York, where flowers were placed on the graves of Union soldiers who died in battle a practice that gave the holiday its first name, Decoration Day. From the Civil War through Vietnam, some 566-thousand U.S. service personnel have died in combat, more than half of them in World War II. Currently, there are 1.4-million men and women on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. With the exception of Vietnam all previous wars had a clear and defined enemy, a clear and defined goal, and more importantly a unified country in support of these wars.
Memorial Day traditionally signals the start of the summer season and a day for family gatherings and sporting events. This year though it takes on added meaning. This year, this war is changing the face of the United States, let us take the time to remember our service personal and think about the direction of our country so that future men and women don’t die for another political war.