Give me just a minute, here.
I need a few seconds for an exercise of your mind, and I'm seriously asking you to devote your attention to the task for about a minute.
_ _ _
--Think of the most vibrant, most energetic young man or woman you know.
--Think of their earnest dedication to what they believe in, whether or not it's popular with others.
--Think of how exceptional they are. How they seem, to you, to stand out in a crowd of their peers.
--Think about their smile. Think about their voice.
--Think about the leadership that they are learning to display.
--Think about how this young man or woman that you're considering represents everything that is good and right about our society, and how important it is that he or she gets to help shape our future.
--Think about how much he or she means to his or her loved ones. How irreplaceable this young person, in the prime of his life, is to his family and friends.
--Think of how many of us know young men and women like that --the young lions of our world-- whom we expect to go on to lead this nation as they grow older.
--Think about these important young people, and realize: it is from this pool of our citizens that we ask to die in the service of our nation.
If your special someone is not in harm's way, think about all of those who are the special someones of others, who are. And realize that those others love their serviceman just as you love your young person. And here we come to the hardest part: imagining what it would be like to find out that your loved one has been killed in service of his nation. It's so painful to consider, that it seems unfathomable, yet I'm asking you to do it, for just a minute. Consider the profundity of the sacrifice. The depth of the pain.
Please remember those who fell and are falling, for our nation. At least for today.