When I saw the Sunday Forum piece "They Died for You" (May 24) by Rick Atkinson, I thought it was the Memorial Day standard fare written as much out of a sense of obligation as a memorial. But it was something else. That short article gave me a better understanding of our role in World War II than other lengthier articles that I have read.
I knew the Russians had far more casualties and that the United States didn't win the war alone, but I never realized our true contributions. It seems, once, we were capable of fighting smart and providing what our forces, and our ally forces, needed.
We went to war with the Army we had, just like Donald Rumsfeld was so fond of saying about Iraq, but we adapted and adjusted in a national effort to win. Patriotism wasn't confined to the few willing to fight and die. Anything less than an all-out effort by the rest of us, including corporations, wasn't a consideration.
I believe that the American people will always fight willingly in a just war, but today war and the threat of war have become negotiating tools, leaving the American people out of the equation except as cannon fodder. I was both proud and ashamed on this Memorial Day.
GENE D. ZIZIS