I sometimes think I should have gone to war. Every generation before me did and seemed to treat it as a rite of passage. My maternal grandfather flew in the Army Air Corps, my paternal grandfather fought under Patton, and Dad was a Marine in Vietnam from 1965 to 1967.
The only war I've seen is that which rages at law school: blowhard egomaniacs trying to prove each other wrong on some obscure and ultimately meaningless point of law.
The notion that "men go to war" seems the product of a bygone era. Of course, I don't know if that's how people felt 90 or 70 years ago, I'm just making an uneducated guess based on all the old movies I've seen. And certainly by the end of the Vietnam War, it seemed like people no longer thought this way.
Granddad didn't speak a whole lot about flying all those missions in the Army Air Corps. And Dad doesn't talk about Vietnam much. To them, it was just one of those things they did. Almost as if these were things expected of them.
Today, most people treat Memorial Day as just part of a long weekend that signifies the start of beach season as opposed to a day to commemorate the men and women who died while serving. I can't condemn too harshly here, because I've done this myself. And though writing a blog post about Memorial Day is a feeble thing, I did want to take this opportunity to thank all the men and women who have ever put on a uniform. You have done this country a great service.
50 minutes ago