I spent Memorial day remembering the valor or the greatest generation of "ordinary" men like my Uncles Harry, Dave, Albert and Eddie Davison who climbed the nearly vertical and completely unprotected cliffs of Normandy under Nazi machine gun fire. Or that of my German Onkel Johann who spoke against the Nazis and was under arrest for years... And the mothers whose sons were killed or perhaps worse, missing in action, and never had the peace of closure, and the second and third verses of America the beautiful:
Oh, beautiful, for heroes proved in liberating strife;
who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life.
America, America, May God thy gold refine
till all success be nobleness and every gain divine
O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law.
Former USAF SSGT Carol L. Davison