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War And Memorial Day...The Cost Of Freedom

Updated on March 26, 2017
Sallie Mullinger profile image

Sallie is a retired mother and grandmother who has written short stories for most of her life. Her stories are from her heart to yours.

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

"It is sweet and right to die for your country."

I have lived thru 3 wars where huge loss of life occurred....Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

When I was a young girl and many of my friends and a few of my cousins were either enlisting or being drafted and heading to Vietnam, I remember having very mixed feelings about their leaving and going off to war.

It was a time of protest and much of that protest was solely aimed at the Vietnam war. Everyone wanted to "give peace a chance". But I remember being proud of my cousin, Charlie, and a good family friend, Joey, and praying to God that they both came home. For Charlie and Joey were willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice. No one held guns to their heads to go, they both enlisted. Something bigger than even they both knew, gave them the courage to be willing to die for their country.

Come home they did. God watched over them both. But there were others, that I knew, who didn't make it back.

No one wants war. No one really likes war for everyone knows that war is fought with weapons, but won with the spilled blood of our nation's heroes. The men and women who take up the banner to defend our country understand, perhaps better than the rest of us, what the words "serve your country" mean.

Back in the days of Vietnam, boys were drafted. Certainly many of them enlisted as well. I think that there is this general attitude that all who go to fight in a war do so because they are anxious to see battle and anxious to face the enemy. But I know that my cousin and family friends, while willing to do their part, were scared to death. I know that when they faced the enemy, their hearts were pounding and fear was something they could taste. I know that when they were in the heat of combat and saw a comrade fall to the ground, that they mourned for that comrade, but also sent up a silent prayer that it wasn't them. I know that my cousin doesn't like to speak about it and who can blame him?

Our country is the strong, the free, the proud and the brave. We take on challenges, where others shrink from them. We don't back down. We ARE exceptional because of the spirit of all of those who have willingly gone into battle, not knowing if they would walk the land of their birth ever again, the land they were willing to fight for. We are Americans and by that very name, we all know that flawed tho she may be...America, today, thru all of the trials and tribulations we live through, is stronger than ever and that strength is built on the blood of the those who faced their fear, stood tall and strong, and gave themselves to the greater good.

“They are dead; but they live in each Patriot’s breast, And their names are engraven on honor’s bright crest.” -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Battle of Yorktown

Raising the Flag at Iwo Jima


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