Tuesday, May 29, 2007
"In one way or another, it seems all of us, from time to time, have to judge our lives against the price that others have had to pay for our freedom."
I know that, even subconsciously, I've never been able to forget what the generation ahead of mine did in World War 2. When they took on Hitler's legions and the Japanese warlords. I had just turned ten years old, for instance, when the Allies landed on Normandy, on June 6, 1944. I could only imagine what it must have been like on those beaches when our world was up for grabs, and men spilled their blood and guts to save it.
I never knew what it was like, until years later, I accompanied some veterans from Texas who had fought at Normandy and survived, and were now returning to retrace their steps. ... Jose Lopez went on to win the Metal of Honor for gallantry in action, but searching for the place he landed that day he didn't want to talk about the metal. He just wanted to be alone with his thoughts.
Every memorial day I think about what these men did and what we owe them.
They didn't go through hell for a political system that functions on bribery, or for off-shore tax havens that pass the cost of national defense from the conglomerates that profit from war to the ordinary people who's children fight it. Or for an economic system that treats working men and women as disposable cogs to be tossed aside at a predators whim. Or for an AMERICA where the strong do what they can while the weak suffer what they must.
Yes, our soldiers did fight and sacrifice for freedom, but as wiser men than I have said through the ages, 'when Liberty is separated from Justice, neither Liberty nor Justice is safe, and those who sacrifice for both are mocked'.
See D-Day Revisited at PBS.org