Remember The Living To Honor The Dead

People walk by nine coffins representing nine U.S. troops who were killed this week in Iraq at the Arlington West Iraq war memorial display on the beach next to the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif., Saturday, May 27, 2006. (AP Photo/Stefano Paltera) AP Photo

Every year on Memorial Day, we hear the words, "this is the time we honor those who have fallen in battle in defense of this country."

But do we really take those words to heart? Do we do anything more than make a mental note ("Oh yeah, this is when we honor the military people who got killed") and then head out to the ball game or a picnic?

I have an idea that won't interfere with your weekend. What better way to honor the dead than to remember the wounded?

Medical science has improved to the point that thousands upon thousands of young Americans who would have died in previous wars are returning home, not as God made them, but as war has left them -- with horrible injuries.

Many are multiple amputees.

We cannot yet know if this war will prove worth it, but the one thing we do know is that years from now, whatever the answer to that question, their arms and legs will not grow back.

There are many ways to help them, but here are two fine organizations you may want to consider:

The Walter Reed Society, which helps families of the wounded meet unexpected financial crises, and the Yellow Ribbon Society, which helps families find housing and transportation while service members are in the hospital.

I know they will appreciate it.
  • Sean Alfano

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