When I was very little mom used to sing a song about standard bearers. Note the colors were different, since she wasn’t talking about the US. It went like this, loosely translated:
Soldier in combat
If you see the standard bearer
Fall with the flag in his hands
Pick it up and raise it
A red and green rag
And you hold the country in your hands.
That always gave me chills, even when I was too young to understand the real significance, even when I didn’t know what a standard bearer was, or a war was and only knew the country was something to do with ancestors and dad was very proud of it.
Weirdly, though my allegiance to that country (which was never amazingly strong and was mostly an allegiance to dad who had an allegiance to the country is gone, and my flag is a completely different color, (well, one of them), the feeling remains, and the chill as I hear that song.
I could make a cheap comment about all of us being soldiers in combat in the culture war, but I wont. Sure, I stuck my neck out and potentially lost the possibility of a normal traditional career. Sure, someone could come for me eventually. But those deaths are unlikely to be a death in combat.
It takes a special kind of courage to face death in combat and do it anyway.
And today we honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.