As I was heading to Corona to go to dinner with some clients, I was coming from Palm Desert and instead of using the 60 to the 91, I avoided all of the traffic by coming down Van Buren. I noticed the Riverside National Cemetery. I have passed here my whole life, but have not ever set foot in the grounds. The sun was just setting and the light was soft, so I decided today was the day that I would visit this place. It was so peaceful and quiet. There were all of these beautiful benches and places to sit and contemplate.
National Cemeteries and Memorials are to remind us what has been done for us. We will all one day die, we must come to grip with that sometime. Here, as in any other cemetery, we can understand what it means to come to an understanding of our mortality. This is a place to remember those who worked and died for our freedoms, but it also becomes a place to imagine our own impact on the world. I have never been a soldier. I have never fought in a war. These tasks have not been set before me. But I like to think that if they were, I could accomplish them as so many have done. Mine has been instead a task to live a peaceful and productive life. I have struggled to find happiness as have so many before me. I can do that thanks to the sacrifices of so many. Churchill once said, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
I have always been impressed by the defining characteristics of the military life. You are forced to face the worst, and it seems that many come to the conclusion that the worst is not death, it is the life that you lived or the life that leave for others. There seems to be the ability to grasp a bigger picture that can only come when you accept your mortality. I find myself grateful to those who now face these challenges and to those who have faced them.