“We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. (Applause.) Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. (Applause.) Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war; who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends — and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.” ~Inaugural Address, Barak Obama, 2013
Our Citizens Seared by the Memory of Those We Have Lost…
It wasn’t until I lived on a military base and watched AFN (Air Force Network TV services) that I have felt “seared” daily and really felt impacted by the memory of those we have lost.
Each day, AFN presents a public service announcement as a memorial to the men and women recently lost in conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq primarily.
The announcement includes the name and rank of the service member, their age, where they died, the base they were from, and their home town. It is searing indeed to see the recent loss of young people, mostly aged 18-24, who died in service so far from home and just days before I see the message.
I am a proponent of showing these messages as public service messages to replace commercial break in morning and evening news shows on network TV at home. I’m also a proponent of showing the caskets arriving with ceremony at US bases. Part of being an informed citizen is seeing and feeling the deep impact of our decisions as a nation–and acknowledging the price we have paid collectively and as families.