-By Warner Todd Huston
It is very, very easy to forget that the members of our American military even exist. Unlike other peoples we don't live in a nation where the members of our military are skulking around our streets, automatic weapons in hand, glaring menacingly at each citizen and they pass by during their daily activities. We don't have soldiers extorting travelers, forcing themselves on politicians, or threatening autonomous action at home. We are lucky like that.
So, since they aren't always under foot and as highly visible to the average citizen as the military of other nations, it is easy to forget the U.S. military is out there fighting hard for our safety. But that is how our founders meant it to be. You see, unlike other nations whose military is part of the ruling class, whose soldiers are the cynical arm of tinpot dictators, our soldiers serve us... it's not the 'tother way 'round.
That's right, the soldiers that make up America's armed forces really are serving their country, not being served by her. And that little-remembered aspect of our military's everyday charge is something we really need to celebrate even as it is something we often over look.
Certainly it is good and right to honor those troops that have given their last full measure fighting for our safety and liberties. It is also right that we honor those that are serving or have served. But let's honor them not just for their service but also for their forbearance from becoming the same sort of menacing, dangerous, oppressive force that the military in other countries so often are.
Let us thank each member of our armed forces for keeping the charge that our founders entrusted to them, a charge that makes our military the scourge of evil in the world but lambs at home. They face the bullets and bombs of our enemies on foreign soil but at home they help us through disasters and make us feel safer. This is a civilized state of affairs that doesn't exist in most other nations and our soldiers were some of the first in man's history to ever serve their fellows in such an honorable way.
As we thank our solders for their service, let's remember that as some of the most heavily armed soldiers in the world, they are still honorable enough to really serve us instead of attempting to rule us as so many other nation's soldiers do.
This truly selfless service makes of our soldiers citizens that are a step above those armed oppressors of other nations and it is just one more aspect of their service to we the people that we must never forget.
Happy Memorial Day 2010