Throughout history, the struggles of those who came before are easily forgotten in the urgency of current endeavors.
For example, who remembers the 2004 Battle of Fallujah, when we worry about last month's terrorist attack?
And who remembers the battle of Khe Sanh in 1968, or the bitter winter of 1950 at the Chosin Reservoir? Who remembers the Nazis' deadly last gasp at the Battle of the Bulge, just months before the end of the second World War in 1945?
Virtually nobody alive remembers "The War to end all Wars" we waged a century ago.
Nobody remains to recall that age of wonders, when motorcars and flying machines brought miraculous advances in transportation, and electric light turned cities into bejeweled islands of hope in the dark countryside.
As the guns of August rolled into position, many thought the war would be quick and painless. By the end of 1916, the battle of the Somme had been fought, with more than 1 million casualties.
Our troops were dubbed "doughboys," and they lined up and ran across no man's land the same way their grandfathers had done at Gettysburg.
It was that prior disaster, the American Civil War, that called our forebears to pay tribute to the fathers, sons and brothers who fought and died for our nation.
On "Decoration Day," they did it in the most intimate manner possible, by placing flowers and other tokens on their loved ones' graves.
Today, our world is again filled with wonders. A device that fits in a pocket lets us talk face-to-face to the other side of the planet.
Our telescopes have spotted hundreds of worlds circling distant stars.
Scientists speculate on how long it will take to create an artificial mind.
But has the mind of man changed, or learned the lessons of history?
For every generation, the urgent call summons, and the patriots of each age sacrifice.
We still grieve. We remember their service, though living memory fades.
This Memorial Day, take time to look back on those who paid the ultimate price on our behalf, be it in war, or selfless public service -- and remember.