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As we reach Memorial Day this year, besides May car sales, I think of how it’s been my privilege to know several WWII veterans in my life. Not to make them more important than other veterans, I’ve just known more of them than I have veterans from any other war. For a few examples, my uncles served in WWII, one in particular was a POW who escaped, and a good friend of mine that is 89 years old served and was shot down over Europe during WWII.
The world which WWII veterans live in today is so much different than the one they knew prior to December 7, 1941, nearly sixty-nine years ago. Nowadays, newspapers aren’t read by enough people to stay in business, our personal letters are fewer and replaced by emails that we sometimes regret, our privacy can’t be protected by simply moving to a new town and starting over, and so on—all changed on the shoulders of the Internet. Personal visits are already replaced by phone calls and being further replaced by silly “Whassup??” texting at a high rate, unfortunately leaving true human intimacy on the floor of our lives far too much. And the thankfulness for this rich and wonderful country, a country brought to us by so many sacrifices of generations and veterans before, seems to be waning horribly and being replaced by a sense of entitlement that is becoming,sadly, in too many cases the norm.
The truth is that, in the USA, we are graced to live in the best and greatest country on earth, full of opportunity (even in what we consider “tough times” these days) in ways that those WWII veterans never dreamed of and that those we lost across our history never knew. They made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.
So, on this Memorial Day 2010, please take a moment to regard and respect our veterans of any war who are in your life now, to think of those serving today, and to consider those that we have lost and who are to be remembered on this day, especially. They have all made our future possible by sacrifices of their own futures and in harm's way, and so many of them have done so without living to know the outcome of the fight they were in.
Honor them all by remembering them this Memorial Day 2010, in your thoughts and your deeds, and by thanking those veterans you know and see now. They all deserve far more thanks than those simple acts, but those still with us will appreciate it greatly, and for those we lost that is our best gift to them now.
My humble and great thanks to them on Memorial Day 2010 and always, and—to them and to you all—God Bless.