Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Eve

kw: memorial day

In 1942, my mother's brother, a pilot, was shot down over France. So far as I know, he is the only veteran of a "recent" war in my family to give his life. I never knew him, though I have copies of a number of old photos that include him. I have a portrait of him taken not long before he left for the war. He became one of "the greatest generation" that never returned.

He married and had a daughter before the war began. At one time I had a huge crush on my older girl cousin. As we didn't see the family frequently (the widow remarried, and had another daughter; a step-cousin, I suppose), of course it couldn't be sustained. We've had sporadic contact over the years.

My family has been luckier than many, perhaps than most. My father and grandfather, both veterans, of different World Wars. Dad still lives, and granddad lived a full life. A few cousins and one brother are veterans, and none have been casualties.

War is different than it was in the 1940s and earlier. Now, the American battlespace is a place few can least, few of our enemies. Even in guerrilla warfare, our soldiers are unsurpassed. This is primarily because they are the best-supported. It is a pity that the news media don't report casualty figures for the "other side" in the current war of attrition. To date, we have lost about as many soldiers, in five years, as during a typical week of WWI or WWII. The opposing losses are staggering by comparison.

Let us remember, as we approach another voting season, to vote for representatives who believe it is right for America to win wars. Otherwise, our losses will truly have been in vain.

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