Monday, May 25, 2015

Hey Look Kids! It's Deja Vu!

Today is Memorial Day.  It is a day of solemnity.  It is a day of celebration.  Frankly, it is a day that is worthy of something better than my best effort. 

For that reason, this space today has been turned over to Rob, as it has been each of the past several years.  A piece he wrote when he was twenty years old, which at this juncture is almost a decade ago, captures the spirit of this day as well as anything I have ever read.  It does so far better than anything I have ever written.  

Enjoy.  And remember...



Just A Thought
 
I started thinking in this time of war what this day means. It is for those who didn't come back. They didn't come back to their mothers, their wives or their kids. They stormed beaches, fought and died in foreign countries. All that returned was a box and a folded flag.

I recently attended a Springsteen concert in North Carolina. I traveled by plane through this American land because I could, because I am free - and because of the generosity of some good friends. As Springsteen played a song called 
"Last to Die" I got emotional. The song asks, "Who'll be the last to die...." presumably in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. It does not matter what you think of the American involvement in these wars. What does matter is that we remember these brave American servicemen and servicewomen.

Meanwhile I am enjoying a Springsteen concert, enjoying a beer and enjoying starting a career with the best government in the world; enjoying freedom. How can I do this? These are my brothers, my peers, guys my age fighting and dying. They volunteered so I didn't have to. They're not coming back to their favorite band, their favorite beer, their families or the state they grew up in.

Their children will not know their fathers. They will know only their sacrifice and some stories their mothers will tell. They sacrificed for someone they will never meet - you and me.

Remember them today.

-RJM

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