I want to thank all the veterans in my family for their service (and there are quite a few), and also for teaching me about their world through their different perspectives on military life and war. Two of my uncles served in Vietnam, in different capacities, with very different experiences. Sitting at the dinner table when they told their stories, and sometimes disagreed deeply, helped me think more thoughtfully about sacrifice, morality, the ability to reflect on and understand the past.
To my knowledge, someone related to me on my mother’s side has been in every major war back to the Civil War, when my grandmother’s then-young grandfather was a water boy. I don’t pretend to know what war or military service are like. But I listen. And I’m glad they speak and help me learn. Thank you, for everything. And to all the veterans today, thank you as well.