I am at once honored and thrilled that the sacrifices and courage of the soldiers who fought through North Africa, into Italy, through circumstances we can scarcely imagine, to give us a life in which m mortgage crises and a faltering economy are the biggest concerns for most of us are being so widely commemorated internationally.
My grandfather landed at Normandy 3 days after the first landing, and marveled for years that, after liberating 2 concentration camps and continuing through the Battle of the Bulge and on to Berlin, standing guard at Potsdam, there was never a real national monument to the brave men who fought in the heroic battles of World War II. He died a week after the WWII monument in DC opened and was only able to view the photos of it I sent via digital phone. Viva the modern era of instant communication.
The gesture of that monument meant so much to this man whose young adult life was spent fighting for the country he loved. This morning's ceremonial honors and the homage paid by so many have inspired such gratitude and a renewal of hope in our great nation. President Obama's homage to his own grandfather and the grandparents of so many Americans who have enjoyed the spoils of the freedom they bled to preserve is a reminder that, beyond our often disparate views, the common thread of courage, justice and freedom bind us all one to another in this country.
Thank you, President Obama, for remembering those brave souls who have gone before us, who have led by example with exemplary lives, whose wisdom and courage we should incite in these trying times to suss out the best answers for a nation whose troubles may dishearten for their density. It is nice to be reminded that we live in a nation, whose essence and history is to thrive in unprecedented situations.
Remembering our history gives us strength. It gives us the opportunity to rise above the pettiness of individual desire, and to strive for something greater -- the same vision of a great nation which drove these brave souls forward to protect and serve when duty called. Perhaps we can take some piece of that as we move forward. Perhaps we can raise the bar and pull together the way our grandparents did to make the sacrifices necessary to leave a legacy of love, decency and honor rather than squandery.
Perhaps, remembering what wide-spread, no-nonsense heroics look like, we can reach within and break new ground as a nation and as a community of humans working together for the better of the whole world.