I was going to write a short poem here, something that would convey my thoughts on the subject, but I decided a few, short words might do just as well. To the point, with no misunderstanding.
For those of us who live in freedom loving nations, there are elements out there wanting to undermine and ultimately destroy that freedom. Those elements will do anything it takes to achieve that end; anything from blowing themselves up with a bus full of innocents to flying planes into buildings full of even more innocents. These elements will have you believe they are just even righteous in their cause. At the end of the day, for those of us who love freedom and goodness, they are pure evil.
I want nothing more for these people to put down their hatred, to put down their arms, and join the rest of us peace loving, freedom loving people in drink and festivity. I want to put away weapons forever and use all the resources we now us to fend off that evil to cure sickness and feed the hungry. I want it so much I can taste it and think that maybe someday, in some other time or even realm, it can happen.
Until that day comes, however, know that the reason we lay down in relative safety each and every night is because of the sacrifice of our daughters and sons, those who willingly confront the evil that seeks to destroy us, battling that evil even in the face of their own mortality.
There is nothing we can say or do that could ever honor those people enough. Saying thank you somehow rings hollow, but I think for most of them, it would be more than enough.
Memorial Day, 2016