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Monday, November 11, 2002

Every time he was promoted, he was busted back to private by the end of the day, so I guess he wasn't a great soldier. But there were millions like him, many thousands of whom never made it home. He did, and that's one reason I'm here today.

Even with the purest motives and most logical reasoning behind it, war is a horrendous thing. That's why we're always so careful and so certain before we commit the lives of young men like him to a cause. If we don't know why we're fighting, what we're trying to achieve, we wait until we do. That's only right and sensible.


Robert B. Parlee, 1923-1987. U.S. Army, 1942-1945.

His war, the one we now take for granted, had its own protesters. Not everyone agreed on what role the United States should play in a European war. He followed orders, just like the soldiers on the other side. He was so young. He wouldn't have cared about the politics behind those orders, but he didn't doubt that he was doing the right thing.

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