Jamie Donald wrote in comments below:
Today is Memorial Day in the USA. As a member of the military, I am not asking you to condone military actions. But I do ask you to consider that military members serve in order to protect their countries and their countrymen. Many have lost their lives offering this protection. Please remember them today and pray for their souls. Thank you.
Thank you very much for your service to your country, Jamie, and also to all the men and women who have done so and are doing so, especially those reading these words. We owe more to you than we can ever express. I've always appreciated you, and am extremely grateful for your sacrifices, and those of your families (especially to those who offered the greatest sacrifice: their own lives).
As a non-military person, I've been extremely moved (to tears) at places of memorial, such as Gettysburg and the Vietnam War Memorial (both were almost mystical experiences for me; I was moved to my soul); also in watching movies like Saving Private Ryan, which show what has been involved in combat situations. My family will be watching some kind of documentary tonight about these sacrifices and heroic actions (right after I post this), because I want my children to appreciate and honor those in the military as I do.
We should all pause and remember the souls and families of those who have died in this service.
During the course of doing deliveries at my second job, I met a mail carrier who lost her husband in the war in Iraq. At that time, there were only about 49 or so soldiers from Michigan who had been killed in the war. This poor woman was working this job and seeking another, in order to support their child and mortgage. She is only about 25 years old. There are lots of families like this, who have lost a loved one, or who have heroically sacrificed in other ways. We mustn't forget them, or fail to honor them.
The United States has (for the most part, but not always: as in the wars against the Indians) fought for the freedom of others. This is not a very common act in history. We were key in liberating Europe from Nazi tyranny and genocide. We saved South Korea from Communist rule and tried to do the same in Vietnam. Sure, we had interests in each region, too, but we still were fighting for the right of people to be free. And that makes me proud of my country (even though I am extremely critical of it in many areas, such as its legal abortion and -- increasingly -- infanticide and euthanasia). Or, I should say, I am proud of our war efforts, again for the most part.
Currently, we are fighting bloodthirsty terrorists and (in the course of this crucial effort) helped to free millions of people from oppressive regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. We're not the ones blowing up civilians in a cowardly, ruthless manner (though again, our legal abortion makes us rank hypocrites in a non-military fashion). We're trying to get these murderers to stop doing these heinous acts, so that people can live in peace and govern themselves democratically.
So I tip my figurative hat to Jamie and all those serving in the military, for America, and also those in the military of other countries who are also fighting for the right cause -- and even for soldiers who are doing their best in a military situation where they cannot control the goals and overall nature of the military operations they serve in. They are still sacrificing and serving. There was many a German soldier who thought little of Hitler. But they were serving their country, and cannot be blamed for everything that happened in Nazi Germany and in its war effort.