26 May 2008

Grateful to remember, not BE remembered.

Edited 27 May 2008 1914 to add a wrenching story from Sunday's NY Times.

Joe Heller, Green Bay (Wis.) Press-Gazette

"People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on thier behalf." George Orwell

It's been a lazy day around the ole Spencer household. I'm still recuperating from a fall on a slick driveway Friday that tweaked my bad knee. Tim is watching TV and eating everything in sight. Elizabeth and William are picking at each other.

What I'm not doing is guarding our home with a rifle. I'm not worrying about getting shot sneaking down the road to get food or halfway clean drinking water. I'm not really worried about being killed by some moron who thinks blowing up grandmothers pushing strollers at the market makes him a "brave warrior." I'm not afraid of having to pass a military checkpoint if I drive my truck today (though someone did back into my fender a week ago). Gas may be expensive, but I'm free to drive up to any one of a hundred stations in town and buy all I can afford. In fact, here in Oregon, I don't even have to pump it (but don't get me started on that stupid make-work law).

I can do (or not do) all these things because someone else DID carry a rifle. Someone else killed that moron over there before he got over here. Someone else DID get shot at, and all too many times, didn't survive the encounter.

There's a saying: "All gave some: some gave all." I know a lot of guys (and girls) who gave some. This short post is to say thanks for your "some," and I'm glad you didn't have to give "all."

As you remember those who give all today, take a moment to remember those about whom we still aren't sure.

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." John Stuart Mill


flame-red said...

One of my main gripes, although I try not to make it well known, is using Memorial Day for remembering "all veterans" or "our men and women in uniform". While I value these servicemen & women, there are separate days for each of these groups.

"Veterans' Day" is to remember those of us, like myself and spencersb, who have served and come home. Some have come home a lot less whole physically, than others. But we have come home.

"Armed Forces Day" is to pause and be grateful for those who are currently serving our country in the military force of our great country.

"Memorial Day" is set aside to remember those who have paid the ultimate of sacrifices, in the defence of our wonderful country against enemies, both foreign and domestic. May God bless the families of these who, "gave ALL" that we might enjoy the freedoms that this great land stands for.

Thanks Steve for helping us to remember them, and not us.

Spencersb said...

Thanks for the input, Philip. But I must clarify: I never served in the military. One of my 3 great regrets in life; if I had it to do over, I would have. But too fat, old, and out of shape to join now!

flame-red said...

OOOPS!!! My Bad!!!

I certainly thought that you had served. Feel free to edit that part from the blog comment, and republish it. Thanks, pcsenn