And while we do well to celebrate great war heroes like Eisenhower and Patton, don't forget the quiet, humble sacrifice of the enlisted soldiers that Willie and Joe represented: those who left the comforts of home, the love of family, and the safety of their country to fight so that right would prevail.
In his discussion of Psalm 131, Saint Augustine wrote that "humility of heart is a sacrifice." On this Memorial Day let us share the sacrifice of those who served in all the wars: from the Revolution through Iraq-and do so by humbling ourselves in gratitude to them. And yes, fly the flag today and say a prayer of thanks for all the Willies and Joes who humbled their hearts, taking on difficult roles to serve our country.
For further reading:
Stefan Kanfer, "Now That's Popular Culture," City Journal 13, no. 2 (spring 2003).
Chris Tomlinson, "U.S. Troops Remember Comrades at Ceremony," Associated Press, 26 April 2003.
"Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2003," by the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation, White House Office of the Press Secretary, 23 May 2003.
Adam Sparks, "Greater Love Hath No Man," San Francisco Chronicle, 23 May 2003.
Paul Beston, "The Sands of J. Crew," American Spectator, 23 May 2003.
Michelle Malkin, "Remember the dead - and the living," Townhall.com, 23 May 2003.
Lynn Vincent, "Sons & daughters," World, 24 May 2003.
World magazine includes a list of soldiers who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom on its site.
Visit this website dedicated to promoting the original intent of Memorial Day.
BreakPoint Commentary No. 020527, "Remembering the Future: The Lessons of Memorial Day."
BreakPoint Commentary No. 020528, "Cigarettes, Candy, C-Rations, and Freedom: Memorial Day Memories."
You can read the Declaration of Independence (4 July 1776) at the National Archives and Records Administration website.
Anne Morse, "I Pledge Allegiance to Myself," BreakPoint Online, 19 August 2002.