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Remembering more than a lawn chair and lemonade
Its a Lund-erful Life
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In preparation for island life, I took a walk to the nearest taqueria for dinner.

I had biked a couple miles after running a couple miles, so I deserved it. Plus, I figured the two miles and change I would walk would work off the super burrito.

On the stroll home, I noticed a house had two vacant lawn chairs in front of the garage.

I thought of my grandparents sitting on the bench in front of their house in Greeley, Colo.; how the crickets started and the breeze sounded like a dulled applause through the aspen trees.

They’d sit drinking lemonade and tea as people walked by. Inevitably someone would stop and visit.

A lost art.

I wondered what my grandpa, who helped retake Europe from Nazi-rule through Italy via North Africa, would think of what’s become of the freedom he nearly died for.

Would he be proud knowing that we can get millions of dollars if we spill hot coffee on us and blame the lid for not telling us hot coffee was in fact, hot coffee?

Would he do it all again so kids could avoid whatever Nazi and Japanese rule would look like, and go to school to take naps, tag bathrooms and fail classes because they are “just lazy?”

Would my grandma who made airplanes to be flown in combat be excited with the newest war games that are so life-like kids aspire to be video game testers rather than astronauts?

What would a 23-year old about to jump from a plane behind enemy lines to soften the resistance of the D-Day invasion say to the communities today that refuse military recruitment centers?

Would the father of two that earned a little medal and ceremony for his bravery on the battlefield feel he provided his country a better service than people made millionaires by leaking sex-tapes or by simply having their lives disintegrate in the slow suicides of unhealthiness and depression?

Would the 17-year old that didn’t graduate high school because he lied about his age to join the army and charge up German occupied bluffs empathize with the fears of a new job, out-of-state college or the torture of teasing?

There is plenty that would make them nod their head in approval, though. They would, I am sure, applaud the millions of dollars in scholarships awarded to local high schoolers for their constructive nature, and the volunteers that line the streets with the flag of the United States that has only added stars since it was raised on Iwo Jima, rather than changed completely.

I’ve stood next to the vast emptiness that used to be the World Trade Center, seen the monuments in Washington, D.C., lit up under the fireworks of the Fourth of July, and put my fingers in the chewed up concrete barracks on Ford Island at Pearl harbor.

I wondered why they were never fixed after Dec. 7, 1941, but perhaps it’s because someone had the foresight of knowing we would forget to the point of requiring a holiday to remember why we get to live our lives in brilliance or misery (both by choice) or remind us that when we molest the principals cast in industriousness and valor, we turn our backs on the millions of countrymen and women that asked how they could serve our country rather than manipulate it into a nation free from personal responsibility.

We can subscribe to ideology because it seems hip or cool, and decide which president we should blame for putting us in this mess, but what matters more is how the country, with the help of others, has successfully combated turning points in the human race, and remember who made the United States of America the best country in the world.

Call me arrogant, call me bias, call me patriotic. Doesn’t matter.

You have the right, and you should thank the nameless, and mostly deceased, 17 and 23-year olds, as well as people like my grandparents for that.

To contact Jeff Lund, e-mail