Saturday, May 16, 2009

This is why I remember the fallen

And this is why I pray for our troops.

This is why I consistently vote for veteran's benefits and anything that supports these men and women.

This is why I get rather soppy around Decoration Day and Armistice Day (that's Memorial Day and Veteran's Day to you youngsters). I cry when I watch videos like this or read war poems or recite the pledge of allegiance, sometimes when reading the Preamble to the Constitution, and always when reading The New Colossus. I am very sentimental about my country.

I may criticize my government, its actions and decisions, but I do so because it is MY government, my nation, the land of my birth, the land of my citizenship and I want to hold us to high standards and call myself and all of us to live into the dream that is the United States of America.

I may call into question our military actions as a nation - their practicality, their legality, or their morality.

But I never call into question the bravery, dedication, and sacrifices of our fighting men and women. I try to say "thank you" face to face when I see our women and men in uniform.

I grieve for those injured or killed, though they are strangers to me. We may have never met, yet they are my brothers and sisters, my fellow Americans, placing their lives on the line for the nation we love.

Visitors come to this blog having searched for the names of the fallen. I hope they find their loved ones honored and respected, though if they glance at other items on this blog they must wonder how that squares with my political opinions. For me there is no conflict.

Whatever may have happened back in the days of the Vietnam War, I have yet to hear any of my liberal acquaintances speak ill of our troops, or fail to uphold them politically (we are not the ones trying to cut benefits for the troops). In fact, back during the Vietnam War, the war of my generation, I vehemently opposed it, but did not bear ill will toward those who were fighting it. My quarrel was with national policy, not with our soldiers, sailors, pilots, and marines.

Here is more from today's IGTNT post:
To date, 4296 members of the United States military have lost their lives in Iraq. The death toll thus far in 2009 is already 76. More than 31,000 members of the military have been wounded, many grievously. The Department of Defense Press Releases, from which the information at the start of each entry in this diary was drawn, can be seen here. The death toll among Iraqis is unknown, but is at least 200,000 and quite probably many times that number.

To date, 683 members of the United States military have lost their lives in Afghanistan. The death toll thus far for 2009 is 53. 467 members of the military from other countries have also lost their lives.

Slide Show ~ The Final Salute

Other sites have stories, video, pictures and remembrances, including: Honor the Fallen.

Assisting our military: Supporting our troops is the RIGHT THING to do.

You can send a care package. Please consider brightening the day of a soldier with a care package.

You can write letters.

You can send a cup of organic coffee.

You can find other ways to give at or Fisher House. If you have frequent flyer miles you would like to donate to hospitalized veterans or their families, please see Fisher House’s Hero Miles program.

You can help the left-behind animal companions of our troops. See how here.

And don’t forget them when they get home! Read to learn what you can do. Visit VoteVets and IAVA. IAVA’s newest project, Support Your Vet, was launched earlier this month.

To all who serve I say, "Thank you!"
--the BB

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