Without borders, what does Memorial Day mean? (A Ukraine reflection.)
When we look at all those Ukrainians who are dying in their battles against the Russian invasion, do we see people making the ultimate sacrifice for some global ideal? Or for world peace? Or for global humanity? Or keeping international markets open?
No, I'm pretty sure we are watching a people risking their lives in defense of, and in service to, a country. Their country. For the fellow citizens of their national community. For the people and the way of life inside their country's borders. Borders which the whole world knows are at the heart of this.
Would they be fighting in this way if they thought the end result would be a semi-open border in which anybody in the world who wanted to work and live in Ukraine could do so in the future?
Perhaps this Memorial Day, we need to think more deeply about the motivations of all those Americans who have lost their lives in service to our country while performing duties ordered by our government.
For some of us, those lost lives were a parent, or a grandparent, a cousin, an uncle or aunt, a brother or sister, or a classmate or a neighbor. For others of us, they were a colleague in arms. And they died while wearing the uniform of our country.
What an incredible sacrifice! It is almost impossible to weigh and value it against every other human endeavor.
No collection of sacrifices by any of the rest of us in service to our national community can ever add up to the single sacrifice of a person's very life.
How can we possibly give the honor and respect earned by that sacrifice?
The impossibility, however, does not release us from a responsibility to try. I don't want to overstate but I also don't want to be dismissive of the devotion that each American reveals in efforts with us at NumbersUSA to preserve the best -- and to improve the rest -- of our country through respect for borders and other boundaries that make for a sustainable nation.
Efforts such as those to protect, preserve and perpetuate our country and our national community within our national borders can be a significant way to not let the ultimate sacrifice of all those American soldiers, airmen, Marines and sailors be wasted.
ROY BECK is Founder & President of NumbersUSA
Updated: Thu, Sep 22nd 2022 @ 5:25pm EDT