Time to remember

As we approach another Memorial Day, it is a good time to remember that American men and women are still in harm’s way around the world.

The constant shrieking about people illegally crossing our southern border – many of them children – tends to drown out the problems we face globally, problems that, if we aren’t careful, will require our soldiers to take fierce risks.

When we are loudly reminded of the threats from North Korea and Iran – potentially lethal, certainly, on a great scale – we still shouldn’t forget that on a smaller, but more individual scale, American soldiers, sailors and airmen take risks every day in far-flung places like Afghanistan and Iraq. Thousands have died there in wars we don’t seem to be able to win or from which we can’t escape.

But how often do we think of these servicepeople? Certainly around Memorial Day and July 4 and Veterans Day but at other times? Unlikley.

This nation has always depended upon its citizens to voluntarily take up arms when called upon by their government. Sometimes those causes have been honorable beyond question. Sometimes, in the end, we find out that they were not.

But most Americans are always willing to answer the call again. Most Americans do not seek five deferments – Donald Trump, Dick Cheney – and many wouldn’t take them if they were offered.

There are some, of course, who are patriots by word rather than deed. They fly the flag from their cars and trucks and would rattle sabers if only they had them, but when it comes to action, well, perhaps someone else ought to go.

A lot of men and women have gone and are still out there defending us.

Let’s think about them on Memorial Day and at least try to think about them on other days. They deserve at least that much.