Memorial Day is a time to express our gratitude for service | In our opinion

We all have a unique point of view of the military.

That perspective is reflective of our beliefs and background.

Many of us have never served in the military and can’t pretend to know what it is like any more than a caucasian can truly understand the pains of discrimination faced by minorities.

Most of us have never looked down the barrel of an enemy’s gun, left families for months at a time or handled a weapon.

Regardless, we are free. Free because others have served, sacrificed, died.

And for that we should be, and are, grateful.

Perhaps your grandfather served during World War I, your father during World War II. Maybe you have a child who is about to enter the military.

Among us there are children whose mothers and fathers are frequently absent from home as they fulfill their military duties.

Maybe you saw high school classmates get drafted, sent to Vietnam. Some of them did not return home.

Memorial Day is a time to forget about our complaints over military spending, noisy flyovers and the effect of the Navy presence on quality of life on Whidbey Island.

It is time to reflect on the overall quality of life we  enjoy in the United States because of those who served — and are serving — in the military.

That’s our military, your military.

No, we don’t own the military. We owe the military.

Whatever your point of view of the military, whether you are a hawk or dove, veteran or conscientious objector, it should not detract from the honor due those who died serving our country.

For those who made it possible for each of us to worship as they choose and say what they please in this newspaper and elsewhere, let us all collectively say, “Thank you. We are forever grateful.”


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