On Sunday, on my way to an event at Shelter Cove Community Park in Hilton Head, S.C., I came across the Veterans Memorial erected by the grateful citizens of this area. As you'll see in the photo I took, the memorial, overlooking a marsh, contains a walkway leading to a small circle with benches and four granite columns.
The site is dedicated “to all veterans who have served this country honorably, and who have helped preserve the freedoms that we enjoy in this great nation.”I was brought up short by the inscription on the back: a list of wars not just of the 20th but also of the 21st centuries. It reminded me of lives cut painfully short, in conflicts increasingly divisive. I wondered if we were doomed to endure these convulsive events, the way we seemingly are by the existence of poverty—or if a better world can somehow be wrenched by the awful sacrifices of these service personnel