On a windy day in November a crowd gathered to honor their long dead warriors from the Vietnam Era Conflict. The sun came out from time-to-time to make the foliage on the fall trees blaze against the sky. You could hear the wind whipping the flags down on the playing field for the Aurora West H.S. football team. But there was no game today. Instead men and women from an era a few decades removed remembered the sacrifices of Comrades in Arms who did not return from that terrible war. Remembering helps put the rest of American Life in perspective. You are either made grateful for the Blessings of Liberty or you demean the sacrifices of others. Your choice.
Men and women have fought in every battle this country has ever fought. They have come from social positions “high and low“. We Americans have found some of the conflicts distasteful and others honorable. Some of those conflicts were on foreign soil and others within our own borders.
We would do well to remember what real sacrifice looks like. Today we struggle for causes by tapping into surveys and petitions on a keyboard and pat ourselves on the back for being vigilant in the name of that cause. These men and women did not “phone in” their participation in the conflicts. They boarded ships and planes and waded through swamps and up mountain sides in blazing heat and numbing cold, so that we could more often than not simply “phone in” our participation from warm chairs sipping lattes. It is only to be hoped that we never forget the real price of the freedom to be as pampered and sometimes selfish as we often really are. It is only to be hoped that we do not shame ourselves and them in the course of living our lives.