Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Gordon Forgey

Our duty


May 30, 2019

Memorial Day has passed. It is the nation’s time to reflect on those we have lost.

The focus of the holiday is on the many who serve this country in time of conflict, particularly those who died in combat. It also honors those who stood ready to protect the the country in times of peace.

Memorial Day is not only for those missing, but for those in conflict now and those who make up the rest of the military and are ready to step up when the call comes.

America has a long history of combat. The country was born in war and has been engaged in conflicts in a variety of wars and military actions. For most of its history, citizens were called out of civil life to fill the ranks of the military. Thus, our citizen soldiers.

Now, the services are all-volunteer. It is this group that has been fighting hot wars for years, particularly since the September 11, 2001, attacks on this country.

Over the years, war has changed, but the stoutness and self-sacrifice of those serving has not changed.

They have always done their duty.

The danger now is not the character or bravery of American service men and women, but their constant deployments into combat. Conflicts continue without any hint of resolution. Another danger is that, as we send Americans into battle, the public is unaffected by their sacrifices. So few of our citizens are actually in the military, and the impact of their sacrifices affects only a few.

Paying tribute to those currently serving and those who have served in the past is important. We need to be reminded of their sacrifices and patriotism, and we need to remind the nation that they are not forgotten.

The missing are not disembodied figures, but are and have been the heart and soul of the country. Paying tribute to those in the service makes us better as a nation. They have volunteered to protect us, leaving the rest of the country to pursue their lives unaffected.

These brave patriots, now and then, should also be remembered throughout the year.

Citizens willing to serve in the place of others are vital to the safety of the country. It is up to the rest to make sure they are only called when the need is clear and precise and their sacrifices are truly needed.

That is our duty.


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