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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,905
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Memorial Day Thoughts I Need to Voice

I am the daughter of a WWII vet, the niece of WWII and Korean vets and the sister of a Vietnam vet. The services, parades and other remembrances for Memorial Day are special to me but it is the National Memorial Day Concert from Washington that touches me most.

The tribute to the WWII vets brings sadness for what could have been and what should have been from those that were lost and their families, along with a great pride for what their sacrifice did not only for this country but also contributed to the entire world. Still, despite my dad and my uncles having served during WWII it is more history to me than reality. It happened before I was born. I am a boomer.

When the veterans of Korea are acknowledged even though I was very close to the uncle that served there and he was almost lost due to medical mismanagement while he was in Korea, this war too is more history than reality. During that time I was much too young to appreciate war for anything more than a game children played. Still, I do appreciate the sacrifices that were made during the Korean war by the men and women that served and their families.

It is the tribute to the Vietnam vets that tears my heart out because Vietnam was also "my" war. It is the war in which my brother served. It is the war where I lost friends and schoolmates. It is the war that took my brother away and returned a man that for many years was too wary to trust, too hard to share and still these many years later has not regained the warmth and compassion that was his hallmark. It is the war that contributed to my niece's birth defects and continuing health problems. It is the war that brings me to uncontrollable tears, heart wrenching sobs and total despair when I think about it. Vietnam changed the way wars were fought. Vietnam changed America more than all the wars that preceded it. Still, I am so proud of them for the sacrifices they and their families made in the name of the United States of America.

The veterans of recent wars will have to wait to learn their place in history but their sacrifices and the sacrifices of their families are not diminished by that wait. I am proud of you and the world is once again forever changed because of what you have fought so hard to accomplish.

To all of America's veterans living or dead and the families that sacrificed along side them I say a heartfelt thank you. America can sleep well tonight because of you and those that follow in your footsteps.

The more I learn the more I realize how little I know.
Are you setting an example or being an example?