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Have you ever been to Arlington ?memorial-day2
It’s a place like very few others on the planet. It’s true enough; the world would be a better place if places such as Arlington weren’t required to be a part of it, but man is fallible. Our freedoms that so many of us take for granted , come at a very high price. What you see in front of you is but a small part of that price.

Something there is about humans that causes us not to want to be indebted to anyone. It’s perhaps why some are so anti-military. Yet we are indebted to these individuals, and millions more like them, buried on battlefields all around the world. We are indebted in a way that is wholly unique. This is not just about that they died. It’s what they died for, and whom.

It’s been a long time since most of them were among us. Yet even in the relative safety of the time that is passed between their life and death, and now , you can still feel it…. Our debt to these people.

I’ve said this many times before, in these spaces, and the import of it does not diminish in the telling; These people’s lives, and their sacrifices, should still count for something to us. Every single one of them that died at Normandy at Pearl, at Gettysburg, and any one of the thousands of places where are people in uniform have fought and died, and are buried, every one of those individuals should hold special meaning for us .

It’s easier to do, perhaps when you consider that they had their lives just as we have ours. These people loved, they laughed, they cried. They had a favorite food, a favorite color, a particular bit of music, or of poetry stirred their souls, like none other, just like we, ourselves. Every bit as much as you and I love our lives, they loved theirs. Their lives were as precious to them, as yours is to you. Their loss was as keenly felt by their loved ones as yours would yours. And yet, they gave their lives up, for something bigger.

I’m willing to bet that you have friends and loved ones that you would be willing to sacrifice for.

Well, now think; How much more noble is a sacrifice of one’s life for people that one will never meet? Well, the people we honor today, those in uniform particularly, but some who were not, gave of themselves for the benefit of people they would never know…. you and I, and countless others from many nations. If not for their sacrifices, you’d have very different lives, indeed. Lives not nearly as good.

Look upon those actions, those sacrifices, and know what you’re seeing is strength, courage, and nobility in measures that should not… can not, be ignored. Such sacrifice must be honored by us all; it was made, after all for our benefit.

Think about that as we deal with the solemn proceedings for their day.

(cross posted from BitsBlog)

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