You, soldier, were slain before your time at Saratoga, Shiloh, Luzon, or Hamburger Hill. You served our nation, gave more than anyone should reasonably offer, and for that you have our gratefulness, as inexorably insufficient as it must be, on this Memorial Day.
I write specially to reassure you that your service and sacrifice have not been rendered callously insignificant statistical accumulations by the parade of platitude-spouting politicians and obnoxious working class pseudo patriots who practice casual jingoism as a second religion.
As I wistfully imagine it from my corner office on the 3rd floor (for I write this on Thursday), you lie there in the bloody mud, a limb or two blown off, a river of dark liquid flowing from holes in your torso you can't even feel, delirious as the medic shakes his head and his triage efforts enlist you for the angel of death's coming corps, the deafening hail of bullets and artillery the soundtrack of your final moments as a living, breathing entity.
You stare up as that last bit of blue fades from the sky, replaced by an empty white light as your neurons realize the futility of it all. You might think of the needlessness of mass mutual homicide to resolve sociopolitical disputes. You might think of your gifted heroism. You might think of your family and that faithful gal in Columbus or Wichita who will now have to find herself another fella.
But most assuredly, I know you were asking yourself if the United States of America would continue to be a leader in establishing legal norms for the human race through a peerless, comprehensive professional educational system. Indeed, given our enlistment age brackets, you likely would have been a fine candidate for bar membership, particularly back in the day when bar membership was as simple as bringing a flask and a risque lithograph to the local magistrate judge.
More important than memorializing the tragic loss of those who would now be of an age to donate curriculum-saving wealth accumulations to certain third-tier institutions is the confirmation that our legal education system remains excellent, vastly superior to our enemies and better, even, than our staunchest allies of engagements past.
Solider, I bring the Good News. As I write this, the federal government, the one on whose uniform you bled, will still lend funds to all individuals interested in maintaining American justice at an ABA rubber-stamped school. The number of institutions serving the vital function of educating the public has increased in the last few decades. Law professors have become so ruthlessly efficient that they can work only two to three days a week and continue delivering results that make their students weep with happiness as they pay their student loans. Everyday lawyers are as wealthy as ever, law graduates are not defaulting by and large, and our courts are a model of efficiency and professionalism.
Open and affordable, providing a versatile degree that gives penetrating expertise in the law with broad insight into an incalculably broad list of other industries, there has never been an opportunity like enrolling in an American law school.
But would you believe people criticize it? Audacious. They speak of paying back $400,000.00 of non-discharagable debt like it's an anchor upon their career. But you, soldier, you know sacrifice, and that $400,000 is nothing. Certainly less than a life. To compare the two is patently ridiculous.
If you could only see what we've become, soldier, I have no idea that you would put on the uniform yet again and read headlong into the peril of enemy fire, knowing that your country will continue to set the global standard for law school.
Often on holidays such as this, certain people will take remarkably cynical and self-serving approaches to the holiday, reducing your fulfillment of duty to some weak justification for shameless exploitation. I hate that.
Crucial to combating that nonsense is educating our future leaders as much as possible. Three years of legal education may not be raising the stars and stripes in enemy territory, but it's darned close.
Since riding the Million Dollar Express is better than taking the doleful train to basic when war is afoot, I don't know what these little maggots are doing complaining except spitting on your hallowed graves.