A Memorial Day conviction, titled “Sensible Patriotism,” that I shared on 5.29.21:

I’ve always preferred the terms “those who served” or “those who fell in service to our nation” as opposed to “those who gave their lives.”

My father, a former Marine Lieutenant who battled the Japanese at Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima (and who once confessed to having downed a few belts of Scotch with some fellow officers before the assault on Iwo Jima on 2.22.45), always dismissed the wording of the latter sentiment. He found it specious.

Nobody “gives” their life in combat — they fight as best they can to achieve victory or at the very least not get killed, and sometimes fate tilts against them. That’s it — that’s all it boils down to.