This was originally posted on Leaven for the Loaf in 2014.
I’m the mother of a combat veteran, which is a situation I couldn’t have imagined ten years ago. My son came home from two tours in Iraq, safe and sound. That’s not true of some of the men with whom he served. I am beyond grateful for my son’s safe return, and just as grateful for the people I’ll never meet who had his back over there. Please, join me in prayer and gratitude for all the ones who never came home. Enjoy Memorial Day weekend – but let’s remember why it’s a holiday.
Anyone who follows me on Facebook sees this message from me twice a year. It bears repeating. My son went to war in the in the uniform of our country and has come home in one piece. I’m the daughter of two Army veterans. “Veteran’s Day” is not just a calendar notation to me. Nothing I’ve ever read has captured my sense of gratitude to American vets like these lines written by Ben Stein. If everything else he’s ever written is someday forgotten, this should be enough to keep his memory alive.
What title of nobility was ever as great as, simply, “American”? What wild dream of my ancestors in Czarist Russia could compare with what I have now, how I live now? Who makes it possible? The men and women who fight our wars, who have lost legs, who have lost lives, who have lost their minds to the cruelty of war. God bless them day in and day out.
[Excerpted from “Fleeting Beauty” by Ben Stein, from the February 2011 issue of The American Spectator, pages 62-64.]