Thank you from an (Orthodox) American Jew.
This past weekend, our great country once again honored our fallen soldiers, those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the field of battle. Sometimes Memorial Day represents nothing but a day off from work and a chance to spend time with the family.
But I find myself wondering what life would have looked like in different circumstances. What life would have looked like had I volunteered for the Marines fresh out of high school, instead of going to Israel to study in Yeshiva? What would 9/11 have been like if instead of being placed under a lockdown in my isolated Yeshiva in Israel, I would have been part of a mobilized unit sent to protect key installations? What would it have been like if instead of studying for finals, I would have been preparing for combat overseas? What would it have been like to be awoken to bomb blasts, machine gun fire and the sounds of screaming wounded, as opposed to the screams of “SHACHARIS…TIME TO GET UP!” It surely would have been different if instead of coming home to graduate college, I was only coming home to see my family for two weeks before heading back to Iraq.
I don’t always give the proper due to the brave men and women who serve our country with such pride and valor. Sometimes I don’t thank them at all. So here is a word of thanks from a grateful American Jew.
Thank You and God Bless You.