Veterans Day 2009
As President Obama deliberates over whether to send additional U.S. forces to Afghanistan, and as soldiers and families at Fort Hood recover from the murder of 13 of their comrades, the sacrifices made by men and women in uniform, past and present, become clearer. Civilians can never know the full measure of devotion on the part of military personnel, but simply talking about what they did and where they served is a good first step toward showing we care. Of all the things to be proud about in this country, the members of the United States armed forces rank very close to the top.
On PBS this evening there was a show about a World War II bomber crew who had to bail out over the island of Borneo after their B-24 was damaged by enemy fire. They spent several months struggling to survive in the jungle, with the help of local tribesmen who hated the Japanese, but most of them finally made it out alive. It was an inspirational tale that applies to the current struggle against terrorists in Afghanistan -- and in our own midst.
Today the weather here in Virginia was bleak, perhaps fitting for the present somber emotions. Staunton will hold its annual Veterans Day parade this coming Saturday.