Arnold Zuniga walked quickly, quietly, to the wall of the fallen and dragged his finger across the name of the childhood friend who never came back.

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Getty Images/Eric Bouvet/Gamma-Rapho

In response to my item the other day opposing a Desert Storm Memorial (my concerns were, 1. Too small an operation and, 2. War it began not yet over), I got a lot of responses. Some of it hate mail. It is striking how unimaginative such messages are—same words again and again. It felt like we were sitting in the Long March Bar and a bunch of drunks ran through screaming and then ran out the back door. And then the regulars right the chairs and order another round of Imperial IPAs.

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Photo via the U.S. Navy

Editor's Note: This article was original published Dec. 7, 2015. 

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Lillian Stephens

For all too many families every day is Memorial Day.

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Photo by Austin Kirk

From the start of American operations in the Vietnam War in 1961  to to the end of direct U.S. military involvement in 1973, more than 3 million Americans served in the conflict, half of whom saw combat. The deeply divisive war came to define a generation, as did its toll on human life.

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