This Memorial Day hits me with a very different perspective. I just finished reading the book "Flags of our Fathers", which is about the six men who raised the flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, an image that was captured by an AP photographer, and soon captured the hearts of America during the last year of WWII. Those six men were actually raising the 2nd and bigger flag, and were just there to do what they were asked. Three of those men died in the nearly 30-day battle to secure that island. The other three (one of whom was mis-identified) went on to sell war bonds, eventually leading their lives in the fame of this single photo. As the author continually stated, 1/400 of a second of lifelong fame.
But two of the survivors, Ira Hayes and Jack Bradley, reminded anyone and everyone they talked to that the real "heroes" were the ones who did not make it off Iwo Jima. Who died on the first day, and every day, that it took for the US Marines to eradicate the Japanese troops.
And today, on Memorial Day, we must remember these men, the men from WWI and WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the 1st Gulf War, and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and even those who died during peacetime - remember them and honor them, and NEVER forget that THEY paid the ultimate sacrifice for OUR freedom.