At Arlington National Cemetary, 320,000 veterans lie at peace. Do not think of them in the abstract. They were sons, husbands, fathers, daughters, wives and mothers. For each stone marker, somewhere, there is a broken heart and lost dreams. These men and women gave everything they had and would ever have to guarantee that those remaining behind would remain free.
There are names that I recognize on these markers and those in other national cemetaries - Vic Driscoll, lifeguard and athlete, among the first to fall in Vietnam; Mike McAinich, classmate and fellow Scot, also killed in Vietnam; my great-uncle, Garland Baldwin, gassed in WWI, the war to end all wars; Ed Chittenden, who survived the Bataan death march in WWII.
As we celebrate the beginning of summer, we should stop and remember those who fell and pray for those who are still at risk in Iraq and Afghanistan. Let the dead rest in peace, their job well done. And let the living come home soon, to live out their dreams.