I don’t feel qualified to talk about today. I have not served in the military myself.
While I know some who have died in service, I was not there. While I know some who serve, I cannot imagine most of that life.
What I can imagine is civilization – the collective groups of people that form a society, engaging others in commerce and culture. This is something that many people imagine, people who wish to be decent to each other, who do not have to use violence in their everyday interactions.
And it is this civilization that exists because of those who serve.
There are people who are willing to endure violence, who suffer it and deliver it so that civilization can continue to be.
“We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.”
Winston Churchill is attributed this quote (though for all we know it could have been Abraham Lincoln or Ann Landers). Whoever said it was right.
As a child, I had a romantic notion of military service. There was a fleet of knights waiting around their table to sock some vile villain right on the jaw. Today I know that these warrior saints aren’t always the most saintly, and not everything mission they’re sent on is for a noble reason.
And yet they serve. For me. For you.
Today while you’re munching on some grilled stuff on this long weekend, chew on that for a minute.
Thanks if you served. Thanks if you died serving.