Fading into History

The memory of war is changing

Katie McMullin, Focus Editor

Generation after generation, the wars we have fought are slowly disappearing from our minds. Those who served their time in the military are not always given the recognition they so rightly deserve and are not recognized as often as they should be. Those who risked their lives for ours, and for our freedom, deserve more than a wave or a thank you. The families of the veterans are generally the ones to show honor and give appreciation, for they more than any know the sacrifices made. Older members in families such as parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents show a better understanding of the war veterans than the kids, but it is still just as important that the kids know about them. While the wars may fade into history, the veterans should not.
Museums were created in honor of war veterans, to show their lives as soldiers to people who would have no idea otherwise. They are created for us to better appreciate them, to better honor them. Any day, people can walk into a museum and learn more about the wars and the people who served bravely in them. Some museums offer simulations of the aircraft frequently flown while showing what these aircraft look like from the outside.
On April 19, 1951, General Douglas MacArthur gave his farewell address to the United States Congress, in which he said, “…but I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barrack ballads of that day which proclaimed most proudly that ‘old soldiers never die; they just fade away.’ And like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty.”
From the Baby Boomers — the children of the Greatest Generation — to Generation X to the Millennials and beyond, we must all appreciate our veterans. People must remember and honor the important people and events from U.S. history. We should not forget or ignore those who served; we should honor, appreciate and give thanks to them.