Skip to main content

Davis Journal

CYCLOPS: Honoring those who’ve served by how we live our lives

Jun 07, 2021 01:44PM ● By Bryan Gray

Veterans Day honors those who served in the military, whereas Memorial Day honors those who served – and most significantly, those who never returned. It is the saddest of our national holidays, one etched with courage, sacrifice, loss, and history, and it is unfortunately often discarded as just another day off for a camping trip or a sale at the shopping mall.

In remembering the bravery of England’s Royal Air Force pilots, Winston Churchill said, “Never in the field of human conflict is so much owed by so many to so few.”  He could have been talking about the American soldiers who perished in Flanders Field, the D-Day beaches, frigid mountain ranges in Korea, Vietnamese and Laotian jungles, or Middle East deserts.

No matter the location, the flags at our cemeteries punctuate the calm breeze of 2021 as families visit gravestones.

Is such bravery still in us? I have my doubts along with the once-cherished system for which men and women died. 

Civilians once rallied around the troops, conserving valuable materials needed for the war effort. Everything from rubber to nylon to gasoline to sugar was rationed as Americans put up a solid front of unity.

Yet recently we had a sizable number of Utahns who even refused to wear a mask due to the “inconvenience” and shrieked about their children being socially stigmatized by in-school mask requirements.

Here we have Francie Collins, director of the National Institute of Health, urging vaccinations by saying, “This is a ‘Love Your Neighbor’ moment when we all have the chance to do something not just for ourselves but for everybody around us.”  Instead we hear too often, “I don’t believe in vaccines and I’m not responsible for keeping my neighbor healthy.”

And how about the system our soldiers fought and died to keep?

Was it for Democrats to toss in extraneous bits of partisan fodder delaying the passage of important budget and infrastructure bills? Was it for a Georgia congresswoman comparing COVID mask-wearing to incinerating six million Jews during the Holocaust? Was it so a former Senate president could proclaim that his single biggest goal was to ensure an elected president was a failure? 

Was it for a Utah legislator to sponsor a bill banning an educational theory even though he admitted that he had “no idea” what the actual theory was about? Was it for a Utah congressman to urge schoolteachers be hunted down and fired for a theory he personally didn’t believe? Was it so a bunch of thugs could storm the U.S. Capitol and injure Capitol police officers, all while claiming to be patriots?

Hopefully, a soldier’s sacrifice is more aligned with former Pres. George H.W. Bush’s vision that America is “never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral purpose…to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world.”

Otherwise they died in vain.