Monday, May 26, 2008
A Few Thoughts On Memorial Day...
All day today I have thought about how profoundly fortunate our family is that Ben returned from two tours in Iraq safe and sound. Many families have not been so lucky, and today I have wept for them and those they have lost. Yesterday there was an exquisite essay in The New York Times Magazine on the Lives page titled "Ferguson: Remembering those you didn't even know." "Ferguson" tells the story of a young marine who the author, Michael Norman, had just met in Vietnam, being killed in an instant before the author's eyes. "So I took Ferguson home with me," Norman concludes 40 years later. "Who else was going to remember him? Who else among us knew him and could carry his good name, his reputation, the memory of him as a marine? Remembering was part of the bargain we all made, the reason we were so willing to die for one another."
How many of our men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan at this very moment have had, or will have this same experience? Unseen and unheralded, they go on with their missions.
On May 23rd on the front page of USA Today there was an article entitled "Friends, comrades live in the hearts of Iraq veterans." The article is continued on page 5A with pictures of the fallen and those who remember and mourn them. Their faces tell the story. I look at those faces and wonder at a president who would veto the new just passed GI Bill. Congress must override his veto and reject his profound callousness toward the members of our armed services and their families. Every act the congress takes that pertains to members of our armed services must be an act that honors those who return and those who do not.