To the editor:
My father's death a few years back marked the passing of the last World War II veteran in the family.
While sorting through his belongings, I came across an old photo of him and his brothers before they entered military service. It was remarkable to me that the photo could have been of any group of young men in their late teens from any generation.
It could have been a picture of my friends and myself before we headed off to the service.
I also found a letter at home from his older brother, who was the first to enlist. He was stationed aboard the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Astoria, and the letter was written about six months before he was killed in action at the disastrous Battle of Savo Island.
The letter was remarkable in that it sounded a lot like the letters I wrote home and I bet it is typical of letters home from service people even today : "Hi Mom and Dad, sorry I haven't written ... things are going well ... miss you all," etc.
The point is that people have always been willing to serve when the need arises.
Historically, our nation's young people step forward when called and serve honorably.
Memorial Day typically is about those who have served and are serving, but it also is good to remember that people will always be willing to step up and put the country's needs in front of their personal lives, even if it involves great personal risk.
To me, this is a great source of encouragement and a true message of hope.