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Wishes For Memorial Day

“Oh, beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain…” I love that song; it can always make we weepy.

I’m a veteran. I served in the Army in the midst of the TET Offensive. I wish I could tell you I was as politically aware as I am now, however I was 18, and the world was all about me.

The national fervor over “Make America Great Again” confuses and disturbs me. What was great for some was not great for many. Elected leaders through four administrations sent young men -- sometimes the best of us -- to a strange country in a war no one understood and some felt was unworthy of us -- like the soldiers in the trenches watching their friends die to support the lie. 

The average age of the World War II vet was 24; the average age of the Vietnam Vet was 19. The ink was still damp on their high school diploma before they were shipped to a strange land where our country thought dropping chemicals on them was a good thing.

Every Memorial Day I remember. I remember those fresh faces, and the 56,000 men who never returned. I don’t care whose war it was – those young Americans deserve our prayers and their families deserve our respect.

Maybe someday we won’t need a Memorial Day.

Maybe someday we will not stand to honor the glorious dead.

Maybe someday it will be glorious that the world is at peace.

Maybe someday, mothers will no longer weep for their sons and daughters.

Maybe … someday.

I’m Lou Ness, and that’s my perspective.

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