This weekend, I intend to visit the gravesite of my uncle at the Willamette National Cemetary in Portland. He fought in the European Theater in WW II. When first I visited the site last year, I was struck by the enormous swath of humanity represented by the grave stones, stretching as far as the eye can see, most of whom had served in the United States military at some point. But my uncle was the only name I knew; obscure to others, but loved by me. He was gentle and gracious, a man of God. He fought in WWII by going to another state to enlist when Oregon refused him. He was a patriot who believed that Hitler needed to be stopped. Like so many others of that great generation, he put his life on the line to protect not only the USA, but also those countries in Europe who were being overrun by the Nazi war machine.
I remember weeping at his graveside, finally having a chance to mourn properly a man I hardly had a chance to know due to my relative youth, but whom I have come to know through my mother who loved her brother dearly. His is the legacy, along with my grandfather who fought in the South Pacific in WWII and my father who was drafted during the Korean War, which inspires me to follow their example in doing my part to strive for justice in the world. I pray that others also will take time to remember those who lost their lives striving to protect liberty not only in the USA, but around the world.