Jim Hancock: Paying Tribute to Those Who Served

Jim Hancock

I watched Saving Private Ryan last night for about the seventh time. Seeing those acres of crosses and stars at the American cemetery at Normandy always puts a lump in my throat. Quietly lying in most of those graves are young men between 17 and 25 years old who never had the opportunity to see the prosperous earthly life that awaited the war’s survivors.

I am writing this on Memorial Day from a traditional beach vacation destination that is total Americana. Families ride bikes in squads of six or more. Kids with ice cream cones and hot dogs patrol the boardwalks of the marina. The weather is perfect, and red, white, and blue banners festoon retail storefronts.

This nation owes its abounding status to the spirit of its people, to the rule of law, and the government by the people for the people. When those principles and our citizenry are threatened, our men and women of service go into harm’s way; some do not return from places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The next time you have the good fortune to participate in a commercial real estate transaction, remember those who made sacrifices on behalf of our country, to preserve our way of life—and ask yourself what it would be like if they had not displayed such honor and courage.