The Corner

Post Memorial Day Thoughts

From Ronald Reagan:

Beyond those monuments to heroism is the Potomac River, and on the far shore the sloping hills of Arlington National Cemetery with its row on

row of simple white markers bearing crosses or Stars of David. They

add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for

our freedom…. Their lives ended in places called Belleau Wood,

The Argonne, Omaha Beach and Salerno and halfway around the world on

Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Pork Chop Hill, the Chosin Reservoir, and in a

hundred rice paddies and jungles of a place called Vietnam. Under one

such marker lies a young man–Martin Treptow–who left his job in

a small-town barbershop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow

Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry

a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire. We are told

that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading

“My Pledge,” he had written these words: “America must win this

war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will

endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of

the whole struggle depended on me alone.”

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