They’re brave, heroic and yet unknown. When I think of history, like many Americans, I can name the leaders of WWI and WWII. General Eisenhower famously said, “I learned tactics from General Pershing and dramatics from General MacArthur.” How then can our country be in two wars and the names of our military leaders remain unknown? Why do Americans know the name of reality television show participants but not our Military Stars? Will history remember the Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan? I hope so.
Especially the ones who won’t come home. Soldiers that will never say to their loved ones, in the immortal words of poet Robert Browning, “Come, grow old with me. The best is yet to be.” Jack Brewster, hero of Splendid Summer and Emeralds, Diamonds, and Amethysts, never forgets WWI even amidst the flowing champagne of the Roaring Twenties.
On the eleventh month’s eleventh day at the eleventh hour, the free world celebrated the end of WWI. On Veterans Day, we shall forever honor Veterans — living and dead. Perhaps no one spoke more poetically about the American Military than General Macarthur addressing West Point cadets in May 1962.
“Duty, Honor, Country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.”…
“They teach you to be proud and unbending in honest failure, but humble and gentle in success; not to substitute words for action; not to seek the path of comfort, but to face the stress and spur of difficulty and challenge; to learn to stand up in the storm, but to have compassion on those who fall; to master yourself before you seek to master others; to have a heart that is clean, a goal that is high; to learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; to reach into the future, yet never neglect the past; to be serious, yet never take yourself too seriously; to be modest so that you will remember the simplicity of true greatness; the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.” General MacArthur
I humbly thank you all for your service.