Today, I read a message from Congressman Mike Honda in which he honored our fallen heroes. He also told of how he and his mother were incarcerated during WWII while his father served our nation in the Military Intelligence Service.
I also have a personal story to share. My father was a combat veteran who proudly served in three wars – WWII, Korea and Viet Nam. As an African-American, he was treated better in foreign countries than in the country for which he fought. He lived in foxholes, watched his friends die on D-Day, lost half of his index finger and took a round in his shoulder during battles for a nation that made him sit in the back of the bus or in the Negro section of restaurants if they served him at all.
He was medivac’d (medical evacuation) out of Viet Nam after being operated on in a MASH (mobile Army surgical hospital) and returned to a nation where people spit on him because they didn’t believe in the war.
What kind of person can put the needs of the nation first even when that nation is not treating them fairly? What are these people made of that makes them able to see the value and purpose of their sacrifices so much more clearly than those they protect? Somehow they see the larger purpose, the longer vision, the ‘on-going mission of America – to live as one nation…’ as Congressman Honda puts it, and it is worth the sacrifice.
So today, we as a nation say thank you to our fallen heroes and to their families. Thank you for our freedom.