Today we honor those who have died in their service to our country. Many of them did not volunteer for such duty and few, if any, planned to die in the process; after all, most of those buried in our military cemeteries were killed in their late teens or twenties, having missed out on at least 2/3 of their expected life span.
While these courageous individuals did not intend to sacrifice their lives, the government that sent them into harms way, including those who have supported its policies, condoned and justified their sacrifice. Throughout history, all wars, declared and conducted by presidents, prime ministers, kings and self-appointed despots, have used human fodder to achieve their desired goals.
Few would argue that military power is, unfortunately, necessary for the purpose of defense. But, too often, it has been used in a misguided attempt to force other nations to comply with the demands, policies and beliefs of the invading government; during these crusades, which often fail, many young lives, including those of innocent civilians, are cut short. Failing to learn from the past, man unleashes a continuous cycle of war and future Memorial Days will have many more heroes to honor. Tragically, human society forgets to remember.