Today we remember those who have served their country and gone to the wall for the rest of us that our freedoms and our lives might be protected. In times of relative peace, we do not know that they are there, and indeed, when the battles are not on our soil, as most of our conflicts since the civil war have been, its even harder to realize and appreciate what they have gone through.
So today, we stop and realize those who have been there. We salute them, because we know that they have not gone as an ambassador for themselves but for others who may have never known that they were silent sentinels on the wall. For the dangers they endured and the years they sacrificed, and especially for those who are still suffering as a result of their service, it’s a small thing, but we thank you.
“In its most common meaning, ‘go to the wall’ refers to the close-quarters hand combat that was common before the invention of firearms. A person beset by multiple opponents would be wise to stand against a wall to prevent an attack from behind. This strategy also means no escape is possible without first defeating the attackers, a desperate situation. The image of a struggle is central to this meaning of ‘go to the wall,’ also sometimes said as ‘up against it’ or ‘back to the wall.’ During World War I, for example, British General Douglas Haig said, ‘With our backs to the wall, and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight on to the end.’” (wisegeek.com)