TPM has a couple marvelous posts, "Whom Are You Remembering?" That one is easy. First, I am remembering my great uncle, my grandmother's brother, Corporal Everett Shores, killed during American action in the trenches in the summer of 1918. Cannon fodder, a death among millions in that slaughter-bench, all sides should have learned the futility and uselessness of human beings killing one another. Alas, enough did not that even more would die within a generation.
Another I honor rather than remember. My uncle, David Johnston, USMCR. He served honorably in China right after the Second World War. He served honorably during the disastrous retreat from the Chosen Reservoir in Korea. He served honorably as a member of a special Intelligence Unit, domestically and abroad, until he left the service in 1954.
Obviously, I do not "remember" Everett Shores. I remember him, though, because his death reminds me that all the talk of honor, on the battlefields of the last century, mean nothing. He died uselessly, needlessly, at least in a military sense. Let that needless end to a life - ending up cannon fodder - provide meaning for my children and their children never again to allow their loved ones to end up that way.
May the example of my Uncle David remind us that service can be rendered in small but nevertheless important ways. One need not line up divisions and whole armies to make a difference.