In our opinion: Our freedom is their legacy
May 27, 2011 · 12:39 PM
There is more than one holiday to honor those who served our country in the military. There is one, however, Memorial Day, that is reserved to remember those who didn’t make it back home.
It is not just a day to recognize what was lost, however, but what was gained.
But in order to appreciate the preciousness of the freedoms and security we have, it is necessary, perhaps, to attempt to fathom the loss.
In the case of the baby boomers, many fathers cheered at ball games and yelled when report cards came home because they walked away from places like Normandy and Guadalcanal.
Some didn’t walk away, but made it anyway.
Today, there are households that will never bustle, bedtime stories that will never be read, whole lifetimes of love and disappointment that will never be lived. These people, these lives, these loves, simply put, will never exist.
When one considers it, the sacrifice made by our fallen veterans, from Iraq to the Revolutionary War, is almost inconceivable.
There are generations who were not born, and will not be born, doctors, presidents, poets, because at some point, their fathers and mothers were called upon to serve their country.
Many reading this right now would not be here, would never have existed, if our father or grandfather was a tad less lucky, or had been called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice in defense of his country.
That sacrifice, so that we can have presidents and poets, is a loss and it is tragic. But all of us, veterans, the children of veterans, are linked to those who did not make it back home.
We can find their legacy, if we look, when we vote, when we read the newspaper, when we go to church.
It is not a day to lament the lost potential, the human opportunity cost, but to take the time to fully appreciate what our fallen soldiers and sailors gave to us, a gift we enjoy every day because somebody paid for it with their life.