MSgt B has an excellent post up over at his place which, to me, is a "must read". There are various war memorials around the country and the one depicted in his post is excellent indeed.
Reading that post sparked me to do a little research (something I am wont to do before going off half-cocked over "something I read on the Internet") and I found this:
Major O'Donnell was listed as MIA while piloting a helicopter on a mission in Cambodia on 24 March 1970. His remains were recovered and interred at Arlington National Cemetery on 16 August 2001. The poem above was written by the Major at Dak To, Republic of Vietnam on New Year's Day 1970.
If you've never visited this site in your travels around the web, you should go there when you get the chance. (It's where I got the graphics used above.) I've been there a few times doing research. Prior to today's visit I was researching the name of a local soldier who shared the same last name as a buddy of mine. I actually saw the soldier's name in his hometown, on a small roadside war memorial.
When I asked my buddy about the name I learned that the soldier was my buddy's paternal uncle. Whose loss troubled the family, particularly my buddy's Dad, for a long time. That really shook me and made me realize something.
When you see or hear of the loss of someone in war, keep in mind that the individual is not just some person wearing a uniform. That individual was not defined solely by his or her service in our country's Armed Forces.
That person was someone's son or daughter. That person had a family. A family who loved him or her very deeply and whose loss will haunt that family for a very long time. If not for the rest of their lives.
So remember that.
Remember them and the ones they left behind.