On this Memorial Day...
...take a minute and express gratitude for all of our young people (~135,000) who are making a difference half a world away. The sacrifice is great, and we can only hope that it makes a difference.
National service, service to a cause greater than yourself, has long been an American virtue, and we have an entire generation that is walking the talk in Iraq, Afghanistan, and too many other places to iterate.
All make some sacrifice, some make the ultimate sacrifice.
Pat Tillman would have been a decorated veteran, a Ranger alumnus, and finally home from Iraq and Afghanistan, back in the bosom of his family. Instead his fate is a story in microcosm of how our nation went wrong, and how the real truth may never be known.
Pat was one of over three thousand Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice in the last five years so that the rest of us can sleep safely. Theirs is a violent profession--they do it by choice--not because they are not smart enough to avoid being sent there. That is Pat's brother Kevin on the right, now a Ranger alum and civilian once again, who reminds us of the legacy of his brother--a true American hero.
What is the lesson here? My takeaway is to pay homage to the sacrifice that men like Pat and their families pay by;
- one, leaving things better than we found them--each and every day--at home, on the job, and in the world and
- two, only put these heroes in harm's way when it is absolutely needed.
There is too much other stuff in this world that needs to be fixed to detail these heroes to fix something irrelevant. And when tragedies like this happen, tell the truth, so we all can learn from it.