Memorial day is set aside to remember those who lost their lives while serving the nation in uniform. I’m known many who served, and did so myself for a term, but not been particularly close to any that died in service. I’ve known a handful of them personally, having met them a few times, but not known any of them closely. On the one hand, that’s good – I don’t feel as though I’ve got the aura of death that falls on those around me. OTOH, it is a somewhat remote thing when I hear that someone I met has died.
I honor their service, and for those that gave all they had, through bad luck away from the action or with great heroism right in the middle of it, you will not be forgotten. The 300 Spartans at Thermopylae died in uniform, it is true, but they are remembered much more intensely than the accountants and merchants that they protected who lived long and ordinary lives.