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Reminding us of the sacrifice

May 22, 2015
Estherville News

Memorial Day is one of two American holidays that reminds us what supreme sacrifice is and how its effects have rippled throughout our history and reaches coast to coast to this day.

It was President James A. Garfield who said, "For love of country, they accepted death." Those seven words capture the very essence of the military mindset. Each soldier, seaman and airman knows the job needing to be done, do it to the best of individual ability and realize early on that lives may be lost. It is a precious price to pay; one that breathes life into freedoms most Americans hold dear.

Those who have fought and lost their lives in the name of freedom did not die in vain. Their valor and patriotic spirit will endure as will their memory for time eternal. As each passing generation acknowledges Memorial Day, the names and faces of those who were killed in war may not be familiar and will blur with time. But their deeds live on.

War is emotional; effects vary from soldier to soldier. While some have problems the rest of their lives, others return home and pick up the momentum immediately. Some vets love to share the stories of their encounters on foreign soil while others never speak of it. They would rather forget the misery.

While battle scars can affect the human body like no other, it is the mental wrinkles that cause extreme anguish and pain. Watching a good buddy take that last breath in the throes of combat has to be one of the most heart-wrenching and unforgettable experiences for anyone in the Armed Forces.

War is hell and has been since that first battle in human history. Credit for this phrase is bestowed upon General William T. Sherman who was a major figure in the War Between the States. Because Utopia only exists in dreams, the mark of war on humankind is indelible.

It is for this fact alone we must never forget the men and women who died to preserve American ideals. All Americans owe them a debt of gratitude.



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