Much has been written on the disconnect between mainstream America and the active duty military personnel who have been waging a two-front war for almost ten years. The growing indifference of the former and the continued sacrifices of the latter requires bearing in mind, especially on this Memorial Day.
In a few short months we will be celebrating, or rather mourning, the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack that sparked our nation’s most recent conflicts. Professional soldiers, sailors and airmen have spent the intervening years in an almost constant state of deployment. As a result one more generation in our country’s history has become intimate with the violence, depradation and staggering cost of war.
Here in the Puget Sound area, home to so many military bases and the families of service men and women, we are fortunate to have a more visible reminder of the burden which they bear. Especially for those whose loved ones died in our cause.
In this column I have begun to touch on a few of our country’s most innate values and inalienable rights, such as the right to free speech, to bear arms, and to a speedy trial. Those rights have not come cheap, and the bill comes due each day that our country stands amid a world of conflicting priorities.
It is important for us to acknowledge, at least to ourselves, that the bill is paid by real people in the most difficult, dangerous and heart-breaking circumstances. Our gratitude and our profound thanks are due to our lost soldiers, sailors and airmen, and also to the loved ones they left behind. We are all so much richer for their efforts.