Saturday, May 29, 2010

Thank a veteran this weekend

What does Memorial Day mean for you? For too many of us, it's just another day off. Some might go to a parade, others might enjoy some other festivities (Brat Fest comes to mind). That's fine, and perfectly acceptable. But please, take some time out this weekend to remember a soldier whose life has affected you in some way.

This past week, the war in Afghanistan saw its 1,000 U.S. casualty. The milestone may seem small to some -- the Iraq war has seen more than four times that number -- but we seem to forget the enormous sacrifice that our soldiers give when we put things into numbers.

Each life that is lost is another story, another tale of a person with tremendous spirit, humility, and bravery, who has given their life to defend the nation they love. Imagine the feeling you'd have at losing a brother or a sister, a mother or a father, because of this war. That feeling is multiplied thousands of times over for countless family and friends of soldiers who have given their lives fighting in both wars we currently find ourselves waging.

Whether you support this war or not, please take the time this weekend to recognize the tremendous sacrifice our fallen soldiers have given us. Remember the soldiers who are still in Iraq and Afghanistan, and those who have fought in other wars for America as well.

Understand that, whether we agree with a war or not (whether it was Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, or any other) the sacrifice these soldiers made wasn't for a specific policy or in support of one president versus another, but rather for the defense of our nation no matter what political party was in power. It's a noble sentiment to hold, one that we must recognize even if we disagree with a certain war's objectives.

This weekend, take some time out to thank a veteran, a personal friend or a stranger who has had the courage to serve this country. Then continue to fight for peace.

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