I'm uncomfortable posting about Memorial Day because I am not properly grateful for the sacrifice that we are supposed to be honoring on this day. Perhaps this would be different if (god forbid) I actually had known someone who died while serving in the military. I don't know.
I fully acknowledge that I ought to feel more reverence than I do. My Long-Suffering Husband does. Most everyone I know seems to. Even when I sit quietly and force myself to reflect on it, what I mostly feel is an overwhelming sense of loss. Not in an awe-inspiring gratitude way, but in a pitiful what a waste way.
And those who died while serving our nation deserved more than my pity. So while hundreds of thousands of veterans remember comrades and think, "There but for the grace of God... ." and thousands of war widows (and widowers) and their children and parents suffer without their loved ones, Let us consider all the wars that were fought to shape this nation.
Because as surely as we honor the newly-dead and recently bereaved, we should strive to remember all the soldiers who gave their lives on battlefields from Fredericksburg to Gallipoli, from the beaches of Normandy to the 38th parallel.
War has shaped us. By remembering the cost, we can possibly prevent it from defining us.