I’m working on it: The ones who didn’t go home


By Amanda Lee, Web columnist

There are men and women in this world who accomplish many great things in their lives.

Some are able to create businesses; some are able to paint masterpieces of art or teach a rowdy group of high school students. But, there are a few select individuals who are able to accomplish something truly great in this world. They lay down their lives for their country.

It takes a special kind of person to give fight for the sake of their country. It takes someone who is smart, brave and strong. It takes someone who knows how to love.

In history, armies composed of volunteers, who willingly left everything they knew to fight for their country, weren’t afraid to march into battle knowing that maybe they wouldn’t be able to come home. That is true courage and real love.

Conscripted armies, composed of slaves and other forced labor, were never equal to the volunteer armies. The difference between slaves and volunteers is that slaves fought for their own lives, civilians fought for their country.

Today, that still holds true. Joining the military is a choice. Not many choose to do it. The 2010 U.S. Census reports an American population of 308,745,538. Another census report shows 1,088,465 Americans are on active military duty. That’s less than a half percent of our population. Estimates say that overall, less than 10% of the country has served in the military.  

Those few who made the choice deserve to be honored for all their efforts, for all their sacrifices. But on Memorial Day, recognition is reserved for those who defended their country and died doing so.

Fighting is a part of life. Dying is a part of life. Sacrifice is a part of life. Every single soldier in the world knows what that is like.

Every American soldier fights for this country and its countrymen. Every soldier walks out into this world thankful for every step, for every waking moment because they know that when they are called to duty that could change at any moment. At any moment, they could be asked to lay their lives down on the field for their country.

 And the most amazing part? The most amazing part is that they do.  

This past Monday was Memorial Day, and I hope that for you it wasn’t just a lazy day.

I hope that you remembered the hundreds of thousands of men and women who went out and fought for you.I hope you remembered the ones who laid down their lives for this country and its ideals–from the American Revolution to Operation Enduring Freedom–so that you could have the life you live today.

I hope you paused to remember the ones who didn’t get to go home.