12:05 26 May 2003
I’m writing this and you’re reading this because of the actions and sacrifices of those brave men and women who have served in our armed forces, many of whom have lost their lives while performing their duties. Whether you agree or disagree with causes they fought for, whether you agree or disagree with the governments that decided to send them into battle, you cannot doubt the courage and determination that so many fine Americans showed or suggest that, even in the middle of Man’s destruction, man has so many times shown the very best within him.
The military tradition in my own family is neither long nor great, but even we have sent some of our own to the service or to war. One of my grandfather’s brothers died on the Bataan Death March in the dark days of early 1942. Another was captured when Corregidor surrendered and spent the rest of the Pacific War in a Japanese POW camp. My other grandfather flew (B-24 bombers, I think) in the Pacific. One of my wife’s grandfathers served in the Pacific with the Coast Guard. An uncle served in the Marines. A sister-in-law currently serves in the Air Force, and she’s currently stationed in the Persian Gulf.
Don’t ever forget what all those people have done for us. Don’t ever forget what so many have given for us.