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Carol Platt Liebau - Columnist
Platt Liebau is editorial director and a senior member of tOR and CRO editorial
boards. She is an attorney, political analyst and commentator
based in San Marino, CA, and has appeared on the Fox News
Channel, MSNBC, CNN, Orange County News Channel, Cox Cable
and a variety of radio programs throughout the United States.
A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School,
Carol Platt Liebau also served as the first female managing
editor of the Harvard Law Review. Her web log can be found
[go to Liebau index]
Also Serve Who Stand and Wait
A Word of Gratitude to America’s Military Families
Platt Liebau] 5/30/05
women who "stand and wait" are many. But if work-baskets
were gifted with powers of speech, they could tell stories more true and
than any we read. For women often sew the tragedy or comedy of life into
their work as they sit apparently safe and serene at home, yet are thinking
living whole heart-histories, and praying fervent prayers while they embroider
pretty trifles or do the weekly mending.
“An Old Fashioned Girl”
are now, largely, a thing of the past, and the women who “stand
and wait” have been joined by
men. But otherwise, this poignant passage, written more than
a century ago, resonates as America observes Memorial Day weekend.
Along with the barbecues
and picnics that mark this beginning-of-summer holiday, we
pause to remember with profound gratitude the many
heroes who lie in graves – marked and unmarked – here
in the United States and across the world. They died to defend
their country, its people, and the principles of freedom, justice
and mercy. For their sacrifice, there is no adequate thanks.
But it’s likewise important to remember the sacrifices
of those closest to our soldiers – their spouses and families.
Last week, in a waiting room at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis,
there were a mother and daughter waiting for x-rays. They had
been in a car accident several years before, and the little girl
had suffered a fractured spine. All now seemed well, but the
x-ray was an important precaution.
It emerged that the
husband/father in this family had served from January to April
in Iraq, and would almost certainly return
there at some point. On hearing of our gratitude for his courage
and service – and for their sacrifice in letting him go
to defend us all – the soldier’s wife broke down
in tears. “It means so much to hear that,” she said. “It
means so much to know that people understand that what he’s
Well, it does matter.
And we are grateful. Perhaps this Memorial Day or shortly thereafter,
we can find an opportunity to thank
a soldier – to let him know that we know that what he’s
And after we thank
him for being willing to leave his family and go to a dangerous,
distant place, let us also remember to
thank the soldier’s family. For most of our soldiers there
is a wife (in the case of female soldiers, a husband) who faces
daily life without a partner and fellow parent with whom to share
quotidian joys and cares; children, who do without the love,
support and guidance of a parent; and parents who face every
day knowing that the child they brought into the world could
leave it – perhaps alone, and in a place far from home.
Yet all of them willingly endure these stresses and deprivations,
so that the soldier whom they love may protect the United States,
the people of America, and our freedom and way of life.
Let us pray that for
all these families, their sacrifice will be temporary – limited
only to the time they have missed with their beloved soldier
until the day of a happy homecoming.
Yes, they also serve who stand and wait. tOR
Carol Platt Liebau is a political analyst, commentator and
theOneRepublic / CaliforniaRepublic.org editorial
director based in San Marino, CA. Ms. Liebau also served
as the first female managing editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Her web log can be found at CarolLiebau.blogspot.com