The Discovery of Sacrifice
September 21, 2011
Sacrifice has taken on an almost historic reference in our collective lexicon. To be sure, we can each recall points in our lives where we have given our time, our money, or even our homes when others were in need.
Still, in our most modern of societies, when speaking on periods of unified sacrifice, the majority of our examples lie in antiquity. And so, we are left to tap into our deep cultural memory to find our precious moments of sacrifice, both past and present, which form our national identity.
To some, the word sacrifice conjures up sepia-toned tin types of gaunt-faced soldiers, having given their last with grim determination, staring up with bloated faces past Matthew Gardener’s lens. Others are drawn towards infamous December days and iconic blazing images where Arizona, Oklahoma, and Utah refer to more than just states, and where Midway means much more than half way. Younger generations may reflect back on towers and terrorism, fire-fighters and police who with sacrifice personified, ran forward instead of away. And for many, sacrifice stands for service and honor, where yellow ribbons and stars in windows or on bumper stickers announce in a very personal way a very personal sacrifice.
Abraham Lincoln once announced in his most famous of speeches that "The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here". While history has in some measure canonized the words over the deeds that lead to them, Lincoln’s sentiment still rings true.
If you want to honor the deeds of those who sacrificed for all of us, consider attending the annual Veterans Salute at the Platte City Branch on October 22nd. The event features memorabilia, historic vehicles, and most importantly, the veterans themselves. Please help us never forget what they did by long remembering what they say here on this auspicious day.
“Who knows only his own generation remains always a child."
Platte City Branch