I had eight uncles who served in World War II. One uncle earned a purple heart, a bronze star and a Presidential Unit Citation. Another uncle was awarded THREE purple hearts. There were purple hearts and various awards for all of them. All eight served honorably. My Dad was in the Army but served during peace time. By the time World War II came around he had 4 children going on 5 (me) so he was not called to active duty but served locally as part of the Civilian Defense Corps.
I am thinking of my Dad and all my uncles on this Memorial Day. Not because they died, but because they lived. They all came home and, for the most part, they lived good and full lives, had families, danced, and knew their grandchildren. My Dad and all except one uncle have passed on now.
They all bore the emotional scars of war. I always knew they didn't want to discuss their time in combat so I was surprised and delighted to find out that my older brother in California had talked to all of them at one time or another and heard their war stories. For the last few months I have been working on putting together our "generations" albums so the timing was perfect. My brother wrote up the stories they told for inclusion in my albums.
So I mourn for all of those men and women who didn't come home; the dances they didn't dance; the grandchildren they didn't meet; and the families who were deprived of a lifetime with their loved ones.
Yes, I mourn for them today.