As I think I have mentioned before to the best of my knowledge none of my ancestors has died in war. Four of my great-great-grandfathers took part in the Civil War, on the Union side. None of them were killed although I believe that two, both of whom died young, had their lives cut short by the privations they experienced during the war.
The last member of my family to have fought in war has been dead now for 17 years. That was my mother’s uncle, Ed. He was one of the lucky few to be called up for World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He was 97 when he died, a long and, I hope, happy life.
Neither I, my siblings, their spouses, their children, or their children’s spouses have ever served in the military. I was called up for Vietnam but was ultimately rejected for service. We have all depended on the sacrifices of others. Isn’t that what Memorial Day is about? Recalling our dependence on the sacrifices of others?
A number of my high school classmates lost their lives during the Vietnam War. I don’t know the precise number but it was not insignificant in a class of 215.
I do not recall ever hearing any of my nephews or nieces speak of never having served or the sacrifices of those who did. I hope they do not take their good fortune for granted.