Monday, May 28, 2012
Appreciating the Sacrifice
This being Memorial Day, I've been thinking about the thousands upon thousands of American soldiers who have sacrificed so much to serve our country, particularly in times of war. While many were drafted over the years, it amazes me even more when I think of all those who volunteered to put themselves in danger to protect our freedoms and way of life. (I know there are many who make similar sacrifices - police officers, firefighters, etc. - but today I'm thinking about our armed forces). It truly is remarkable.
It's nice to see the public express gratitude toward our soldiers. It's not unusual these days to witness someone buy a soldier a cup of coffee in an airport or to simply walk up and thank them for their service. Today I decided to write a note to someone I know who volunteered to serve our country despite the dangers of two active wars. In fact, he took a break from college to enlist because he believed it was the right thing to do. While his friends were drinking beer and going to classes, he was jumping out of airplanes and preparing to fight for our country.
It's easy to talk about acting on our convictions, especially when they don't involve much sacrifice. Being willing to put yourself in harm's way to serve others, though, strikes me as an entirely different level of commitment. Thankfully, Americans have always been willing to step up to that commitment when the situation has demanded it. So many thousands have died fulfilling that commitment. I don't know that we can ever thank them enough.