Continuing my blogs about President Obama’s 2012 proclamation entitled “COMMEMORATION OF THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE VIETNAM WAR”:
Here’s the second paragraph:
“As a grateful Nation, we honor more than 58,000 patriots—their names etched in black granite—who sacriﬁced all they had and all they would ever know. We draw inspiration from the heroes who suffered unspeakably as prisoners of war, yet who returned home with their heads held high. We pledge to keep faith with those who were wounded and still carry the scars of war, seen and unseen. With more than 1,600 of our service members still among the missing, we pledge as a Nation to do everything in our power to bring these patriots home. In the reﬂection of The Wall, we see the military family members and veterans who carry a pain that may never fade. May they ﬁnd peace in knowing their loved ones endure, not only in medals and memories, but in the hearts of all Americans, who are forever grateful for their service, valor, and sacrifice.”
Here, the president invites out attention to the losses combatants suffered—their health, their freedom, their very lives. I’ve dwelt on these issues before; I don’t need to repeat. What’s urgently important is for Americans to understand and appreciate that our fighting men in Vietnam offered everything a human being has in defense of our country. And yet—how do you thank someone who has died for you?