Today's Americans stand on the shoulders of those who strove before them, beneficiaries of centuries of ingenuity, sacrifice, intrepidity, investment and effort throughout the world.
For most Americans, Memorial Day is a day of leisure earned by the sweat and blood of millions of other Americans.
More than one million persons have died in the military service of the United States. Some enlisted, some were conscripted. Some pursued danger, some had no choice other than to confront it. Some accomplished great missions, some were sent on fools' errands. Nearly all distinguished themselves, whatever their orders, by simply doing their duty. Some returned as heroes, some (including many heroes) returned to a society that treated them like dirt, some returned in caskets, some never returned.
All deserve a moment of reflection, a kind thought, a measure of gratitude.
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