Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Honoring Those Who Have Served

For years I have watched as the news post photos of fallen military men and women who have given their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. As George Stephanopoulos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Stephanopoulos ) has scrolled and read his weekly memorial list of the fallen with respect and a sense of loss, I have read the names and ages along with him trying to imagine the pride and overwhelming grief their families and hoping not to see a name I knew. Each name represented some willing to server and defend my family and our country. Each name, each person deserves our respect and honor. I know not all of them were perfect. Some might have even been real jerks, while others were truly saints called to duty but each gave their lives for our country. We can question the government and circumstances that got us into both of the current wars but we should never question the sacrifice these men and women have made. Nor should we forget those who are wounded, or witnessed or experienced more than most of us could imagine.

Last night I watched ABC World News air the first coming home from Dover Delaware in 12 years (http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=7265092 ). Phillip Myers wife granted the media permission to attend the ceremony. They still showed his photo with his name and rank but this time we could see the solemn ceremony transferring his flag draped coffin from the aircraft that brought him back to the truck which will take him closer to his final peaceful resting place. For all of the news announcements before I felt sorrow for this one the tears came. I know why some didn't want us to see this for all of these years and I know why others want us to. The pallbearers performing their solemn duty made the loss seem like more of a loss, more human.

The news handled the ceremony with great respect and dignity. The Myers family shares their grief with the country. I respect each of the families who will decide to share this moment and those who want it to be private. The decision now lies with the ones who matter the most since they too made a great sacrifice for our country. I just hope we find ways to have fewer of these ceremonies.

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