we can give yesterday’s soldiers is to strive to make today’s soldiers civilians.
What has made this nation great is not that men and women died for it, but that they have been willing to die for it. Throughout our history, dedicated individuals have unreluctantly sacrificed that first and last full measure of devotion to serve, labor, and fight for what they saw as good in America. Each of these clung to some vision of liberty, freedom, a way of life that he or she deemed worth defending. Their heroism lies not in their blood, but in their personal belief and their sacred commitment to it.
It is truly certain that not one soldier went down into his grave hoping that his son and granddaughter would have “honor” of shouldering a weapon and following his own path of sacrifice.
As a caveat to this consecrated day of memorial, let us take care that we in no way honor war. War does not bring forth heroes. War is a tragic slaughter, always to be despised, always, whenever possible, to be avoided. Nor is it, as legions of non-combatants vaingloriously insist, “necessary.” The briefest perusal of history shows that the terrifying majority of wars issue from the edicts of those covetously lusting after the wealth and power of others. The only thing that trickles down from the fingers of these war-launchers is blood.
So if you would like to like to lay a wreath on the tomb of some dedicated individual who died for this nation, let it be the green, living wreath of your own sustained devotion to the cause of peace. ‘Tis a battle that will demand your utmost courage and no little sacrifice, but it is one that those heroes who gave their lives in the past would have definitely cherished.
– Bart Jackson