Monday, May 26, 2008

Honoring the Normal Guy.

picture from Library of Congress via pingnews

It is Memorial Day. The day we commemorate American war veterans, and particularly the men and women who died in service to their country. Today, family and friends, and maybe a church or neighborhood, will say things like, "remember how he loved football, or how nervous she was on her first date, or how he always fell asleep in church." That is the how we remember our sons and daughters, in public anyway, our more cherished memories we tend to keep to ourselves. No one will author a book, or direct a movie in the name of the soldier we know. They were, one day, normal teenagers, the next in boot camp, then a battle field, and then . . .

This soldier lived a normal life made heroic by an act of duty, or a sense of adventure, or just because he didn't know what else to do, it matters not, he was there in battle. What does matter is his or her acceptance of an obligation to be just a soldier, not a fashionable sensibility in these days of entitlement. No one is little anymore. No one is uncertain. The soldier who dies in service is anachronistic to an age where everything is supposed to be "mutually beneficial."

So here's to the normal soldier, today the rest of us, with admiration, join your small circle of friends.

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