When I was younger and idealistic, I was definitely a pacifist. I grew up with the images of the Vietnam War on television and the division of the country between the pro-war and anti-war factions. Today I am less idealistic, but I'm still in favor of exercising every diplomatic avenue possible before resorting to force. I protested against the invasion of Iraq, even though there was evidence that Saddam Hussein and his government were holding that country's people prisoner through terror.
But I also understand that there is a layer of society for whom the military is a way of life. Generations of men and women in countless families have gone into the military because it was a way out of poverty. They have served in many jobs, not only in combat but also in maintaining the peace. Many have died on the job doing what they felt they must do.
May we remember those who served in our military and died doing their duty. I don't agree with every reason we send our military, but the people who place their lives in danger deserve our respect.