BOSTON (CBS) — Please make a note of the fact that at three o’clock this afternoon, all of us are urged to observe the traditional National Moment of Remembrance of our fallen servicemen and women.
Amtrak trains will sound their horns at that hour. Many of us will observe a moment of silence, including fans at major league baseball games.
As the president put it in his official proclamation the other day, “We remember the fallen, we pray for a lasting peace among nations, and we honor these guardians of our inalienable rights.”
And maybe we can also do so by reflecting on what it is they were guarding.
The president’s statement notes that this is the centennial of our country’s entrance into World War I, where we lost more than 100,000 of our own in the cause of “helping to restore peace in Europe.”
Then, and again in the 1940s, we made it our business to stop the encroachment of an aggressive foreign power and stand up for our natural European allies.
Not all of our wars have been deemed righteous by the American people, and after 16 years of perpetual post-9/11 war, there’s a bi-partisan push on in the Senate to re-establish Congressional approval of our military offensives, which speaks to another cause we fight and die for, our democratic process and the right of the people to be heard.
“Freedom is never free,” the president notes, and focusing on the lives lost today underscores that point.
It’s also a challenge to the living to work at keeping us free, so the sacrifices of the dead aren’t squandered.
Maybe three o’clock today is a good time to get a conversation started about all this, with others, or just within yourself.