Saving the 'Private Ryan' In All Of Us

If you opened up your eyes this morn
And drew a breath in freedom
Remember those we oft forget
Until we really need ‘em

The ones who rise before each dawn
Who stand to post each day
Who work and train and live and breathe
To keep our foes at bay

Who learn firsthand that cardinal rule
With every sinew, every nerve
True greatness lies in every nation
With those who humbly serve

The Good Lord taught his followers
That kingdoms great (in worldly eyes)
Involve the use of naked power
To lord it over and despise

Rather, kingdom greatness
Standing firm and strong and tall
Is seen in those who use their power
To protect and serve us all

This very day around the world
Our boys and girls make do without
And suffer great in sacrifice
Unwavering, with no doubt

Convinced that they have chosen
For better or for worse
A path that leads to blessing for
The folks back home — not curse

But the deepest thought this Veteran’s Day
Is as humbling as it is tough
Are the lives we’re trying to live this day
Really “good” enough

…to justify all we’ve been given
At the hands of those more valiant
Does not the very thought of that
Make us want to live more gallant?
For all of us are ‘Private Ryans’
Who should kneel in gratitude
At the grave or side of one
Who has shown such fortitude

And given to us life itself
To use wisely, or to waste it
Life that’s really worth the while
How well have YOU embraced it?

If you would grateful be this day
To those whose “all” outrank you
Perhaps you might seek out a Vet
And say a simple…