No matter what we do in Iraq, the fact is that there will, unfortunately, be more names added to the wall in Marseilles in the months, years and decades ahead. As long as there’s a United States, U.S. service members will be called to fight, and sometimes die, to defend and advance the cause of freedom worldwide. Our mission in the Middle East today should be to ensure that the troops already on the wall didn’t die in vain, and that those added in the future don’t either.
Sixty years later, we remember World War II as a great victory, one that made the modern world possible. Such an outcome, however, didn’t seem likely on Dec. 8, 1941. Then, with a huge part of our Navy underwater and our West Coast fearing imminent invasion, “realists” might have advised against going to war with a surging Japanese empire.
But the Americans of 1941 stood and fought. Tens of thousands of them died. And because of their sacrifices, hundreds of millions of Americans -- and Filipinos and Koreans and French and Italians and Germans and Japanese and more -- today live in freedom.