SUFFER - Now there's a word antithetical to today's culture! In fact, we seem to live in the days of avoiding suffering at all costs. From the disposable nature of marriage to the discarding of life through abortion, culture deems us a fool to lean into anything unpleasant that may deny us temporal happiness.
The lives we remember every Memorial Day expose the faultiness in that thinking. The path our fallen heroes walked reveals what we truly esteem.
The FALLEN HERO is the one who is willing to be tested, run through thankless rigors, facing humiliation to have their resolve strengthened.
The FALLEN HERO endures the discomfort of less-than-optimal living conditions, separation from family, and deprivation of common modern conveniences. He or she goes through hell to bring us a little bit of heaven here on earth.
The FALLEN HERO is the one who follows the orders of the commanding officer, even though it puts him or her in harms way. The big picture is in mind when a soldier like this deploys. No sacrifice is too great to reach the end game.
The FALLEN HERO lays down their life for a purpose they love. As so poignantly expressed in "America the Beautiful":
In liberating strife
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life*