Today is the day we set aside to honor our fallen. Those young men and women who gave their lives for our freedom and the freedom of those in lands far from us. The youngest and fittest of our sons and daughters lay down their lives for their country, never to get up or if they do survive, they are no longer whole.
We are lucky in that we have never had foreign troops marching through our streets. We have been attacked but never occupied. There is another group we should honor today. Those who are swept under the "collateral damage" rug.
There is a site I visit that I find very humbling. It is the World War II London Blitz Diaries 1939-1945. The great granddaughter of Ruby Side Thompson has published her great grandmother's diary and puts daily inserts from that diary on her blog telling of life in a war zone.
Sometimes it is the daily life of a woman living in the middle of war searching for normalcy. Sometimes it recounts the horrors of being bombed almost daily and of people that just disappear suddenly from their lives thanks to the war. The accounts are quite sobering.
Another post to read that will give you the shivers and make you so grateful that you live where you do is a story from Reader Wil who tells of the horrors this lovely woman from the Netherlands had to endure in a Japanese concentration camp as a young child.
I loath war but until we evolve to better and more caring humans, wars will be fought. It is when I hear these stories that I am both grateful that we have been so spared, yet ever so grateful for the young men and women who fought so we would be spared.
So today I remember those who gave all, but also their spouses, parents, grandparents, nieces , nephews or children who no longer have them in their lives. I also remember those thousands of civilians who were casually wiped out with out so much as an "oops."
I also pray for the time when this day will no longer have current impact with new names daily being added to the list. Then we would not only be lucky but smart.