Friday, May 27, 2016

We Owe So Much, to So Many, on Memorial Day

From Salena Zito, at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "Unquestionable courage & sacrifice":


The perfect symmetry of alabaster headstones, majestically holding formation along this national cemetery's pastoral hills, reminds you that our soldiers are sentinels guarding our republic, even in death.

On a sunny spring day, a lone figure held a tiny flag blowing vigorously in the wind as he knelt before a headstone. He held a conversation with a lost service member, perhaps a son or daughter, alternating between amusement and grief.

Taps played from off in the distance.

Only the heartless could fail to be touched by the raw emotion of that moment or by the somber presence of all of these soldiers who died serving our nation through the ages.

Tomorrow is the day that we as a country honor Americans who put their lives and their loves on hold, stepped forward to say “Send me, I will go,” and never came back.

Memorial Day began as Decoration Day immediately following the Civil War to give tribute to the 620,000 soldiers who died in that carnage, according to historian David Pietrusza.

“The ceremonies to mourn the dead on both sides subtly reminded Americans that such a division must never recur,” he said.

Today it honors all fallen American soldiers who risked everything to protect our homeland, our values, our Constitution...