The Sacrifice of the Young
Yesterday, Mark Patinkin remembered Holly Charette, killed in Iraq in 2005.
Holly Charette liked make-up, Britney Spears and the Marines. She liked cheesecake, Tinker Bell and the United States of America. She loved her friends and, most of all, her family.
She died serving her country.
She was 21 years old.
As Patinkin noted earlier in his column, the faces of our war veteran’s are changing in this country: they are getting younger. For a couple decades we were fortunate in that we memorialized those who had given their lives many years ago: in World War II, Korea, Vietnam. Now, in addition to these, we remember those who are our age or younger. Somehow–not to take anything away from the men who stormed the beaches at Normandy, fought in the Pacific or in winters of Korea or jungles of Vietnam–the youth of these most recent heroes personalizes their sacrifice more. It makes them seem less remote, less like some distant, historical black-and-white newsreel from “the old days.” In truth, as we memorialize them today, we are confronted with feelings more consistent with those felt by Americans who have remembered their war dead throughout our nation’s past. We mourn our neighbors and friends, not just their–or our–grandfathers or great uncles. As ever, young people have fought and died for their country. Never forget.