Post Everlasting


Opportunity. Legacy. Duty. Purpose. Patriotism. The reasons behind choosing military service differ from person to person. But as varied as the reasons are, there’s a universal understanding: Service means sacrifice. Even if that sacrifice is one’s own life. The impact of this ultimate sacrifice ripples through our communities. 

Service members’ death touch more than just the lives of their loved ones and friends. When their stories are shared in our neighborhoods, our homes, our schools and our places of worship, these men and women become a part of the collective identity of our hometowns. The stories of their sacrifices live on in the pride of memories of their loved ones and at observances and through inscriptions on memorials and plaques dedicated to the legacy of their generation. Woven into the fabric of our country are those who died while wearing the cloth of our nation. They instill a sense of pride among citizens. They inspire new generations to raise their hands in service. There is no greater sacrifice than to offer one’s life for the greater good. 

As President Abraham Lincoln observed more than 150 years ago: “This extraordinary war in which we are engaged falls heavily upon all classes of people, but the most heavily upon the soldier. For it has been said, all that a man hath will he give for his life; and while all contribute of their substance, the soldier puts his life at stake, and often yields it up in his country’s cause. The highest merit, then, is due to the soldier.” This respect we give to our fallen speaks to the value we place on their service. And it’s not just back home that we remember them. These tributes begin at the very spots where they selflessly gave their lives—both for the brothers and sisters they stood shoulder to shoulder with and for their country. 

We must continue to share their stories, to remember what they sacrificed for the rest of us. Because few men and women choose to put their lives on the line to serve and defend the Constitution. Few go toward danger. Few willingly face atrocities most of us can’t fathom. Few volunteer to serve, knowing that death may be the outcome. But we can ensure that those who make this choice and make the ultimate sacrifice can rest knowing they served with the thanks of grateful citizens and knowing that they won’t be forgotten.