Laugh, Cry, Remember

I saw this headline and laughed out loud.

Indiana Jones Movie Upsets Communists

Is there no one we don’t offend? How dare we “rewrite history” to portray the KGB and 1950s Russia as evil? The most surprising thing is, the offense came from Hollywood of all places. I think Hollywood probably thought it was SAFE to talk about the Cold War era (after all, the first movie had that crazy, sword-waving Arab that Indi made short work of…now THAT was not very ethnically sensitive and would likely not fly in today’s world).

But no, in this age of political correctness — this age when a crazy, radical, woman-hating society bent on destroying America is a religious choice I’m supposed to respect (but it’s OK to make fun of Christians), and when the U.S. is frequently regarded as the scourge not only of civilization, but also of the planet itself (oh wait, maybe that’s Wal-Mart) — how dare we offend Communists, who only stand for everything America doesn’t?

Go ahead, laugh. And then cry a little, remembering what this solemn holiday is all about.

…………………………….

I am so lucky.

My father and uncle survived World War II — my uncle, a German POW, walked across Germany to the allies as the war ended and the camps were opened, narrowly escaping death; my father, a sailor, was at D-Day, on a ship supporting the landing force.

More than 400,000* of their fellow servicemen and women didn’t survive.

My oldest brother, at age 18, enlisted in the Marines in 1968, went to Vietnam, and survived, narrowly escaping death as two comrades on either side of him were killed.

More than 58,000* more of his fellow servicemen and women died as well.

My other two brothers served in the peacetime Army (6+ years) and Navy (20+ years). They came home.

Many others serving this country in peacetime didn’t — the military is a dangerous profession at any time.

In all, more than 650,000* of my loved ones’ fellow servicemen and women have given their lives for our country. 

I am so lucky.

I don’t have a particular name, face, or memory associated with those we honor today. Instead, I have the luxury of detachment — of respecting them, of flying the flag for them, and most of all, of remembering and thanking them, without really knowing who they are. 

Many of you have this same luxury. Please, please, take advantage of it.

Sadly, many of you don’t. May you find comfort in knowing your loved one’s sacrifice is not forgotten.

Never in the field of human conflict
was so much owed by so many to so few. 
                                 ~ Winston Churchill
 

* My source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_casualties_of_war

 

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1 Comment

  1. mel said,

    Monday, May 26, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    a heartfelt and poignant post, my friend. I had no idea you had such a history of service in your family. many thanks to them and their comrades–those who fell and those who returned. thank you for your homage to an often overlooked holiday and those that it represents.


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