In a forceful address at the memorial services honoring the World War II veterans of Pocatello Thursday morning at the high school auditorium, Lloyd E. Haight outlined the obligations to the war dead in protecting and assisting their widows and children, and those still living who have suffered so greatly because of the war.
He said, "As individuals, we must be vigilant to protect and assist our veterans. To those who feel that the man or woman who served his country in uniform, and was not injured, was repaid by the training he received or the travel he accomplished at government expense, we can truthfully say that even he suffered in a manner which money cannot compensate for. Separated from his family he has come back to a disrupted home and to a job where he no longer feels that he is "one of the gang." He has lost something tangible.
We who share the future must redouble our efforts to prevent another world conflict. We hope to have peace without force.
Two generations of American men and women now lie buried on foreign soil, a testament to our overwhelming, burning desire for peace. We, their comrades in arms, solemnly pledge ourselves to protect and sustain the republic for which they died. We recognize our responsibility to make America a better place in which to live and to make her an exemplary nation before the world. This we cannot do if we proceed with greed, dishonesty and unreality, but only if we make freedom, justice and responsibility our watchwords."I often wonder how my right winged grandfather would have responded to his liberal feminist Mormon housewife, (sometimes pacifist, but not when people mess with my kids) grand-daughter. I don't know the answer to that question as he passed away before we could get into a discussion about our world views.
But I will say this, even while wishing that there was no place for war in this beautiful world, I am grateful for the many personal sacrifices he made as he served the country in which he lived. He was a man of conviction, and I love his words and will claim them as my own today and ask for his forgiveness as I tweek them a little bit to serve my own purpose:
"I recognize my responsibility to make the world in which I live a better place. This I cannot do if I proceed with greed, dishonesty, and unreality, but only if I make freedom, love and responsibility my watchwords."Thank you to all the veterans of nations who stand behind the convictions of their hearts. My hope is someday we can all embrace the words above and that you may lay down the heavy load you carry and return to your families.