Today is Memorial Day in the US, a day that commemorates those who died in military service of our country.  The occasion gives us an opportunity to reflect on the bravery of those who have put their lives on the line in the solemn task of keeping the people of our nation safe from harm. I thank those who have made this sacrifice for our country throughout history.

As we look around today, there are numerous remembrances, both public and private, going on around us.  Whether the commemoration is at the local veterans’ cemetery to remember all of those who served in long-past wars, or whether it is a family gathering to honor a recently-departed loved one, all of those who have died in service deserve our thanks.

This honor should go to our military men and women, whether or not the conflict was “politically correct” at the time.  These people did their duty for our country without questioning the politics of the situation.  We called, and they came.  Then they died.

In most of the past conflicts that our country has been involved in, there has usually been a clear threat to our country.  When the threat had passed, we took steps to withdraw and let our service members get back to a normal life.  In the Revolution, they stood up for us until the threat was over, then we stood them down.  In the World Wars, they came forward to help when there was a clear threat to ourselves and our neighbors.  When the threat was over, we brought them home.

We are currently fighting in two overseas wars.  In one case, in Afghanistan, we are told that we are fighting to keep an enemy from reaching our shores, though I think most Americans would be hard pressed to tell you just how that might happen.  In another case, in Iraq, it has been pretty much shown that we were enticed there on false pretexts, and that our continued involvement there will result in little further gain or protection for the people of our country or for others.  In fact, the military of most other countries have already seen the folly of the situation and have left.

In prior wars that our country has fought, when the job was done, we brought them home to get them out of the path of danger.  If we truly want to honor the brave souls that are fighting for us and who have given our lives for us, we should bring them home and get them out of harm’s way.  Unless our government is not telling us something, our job is done in Iraq.  The highest honor we could give our soldiers would be to bring them home now, so that we don’t have to be mourning their deaths in the future.