The Ultimate Sacrifice
Quietly and unceremoniously they packed up and left for a journey to adulthood. More importantly it was a call of duty to serve the country. Young men, bright eyed 18 year olds, were enlisted to be trained as soldiers and other uniformed services the day they finished their secondary schools. For the next two to two an a half years, they belong to the state. The parents reluctantly, hesitantly, and tentatively let them go. But deep inside them they harbour an unspoken fear. Many return to rejoin their families after their National Service Training. Some don't. We have just witnessed another undescribed grief of parents whose precious sons failed to return home, alive. The tragedy of losing someone so precious, someone about to embark on a journey of life as an adult, getting a job, courting a girlfriend, getting married, becoming a father in his own right, all vanished, while answering the call of duty. The pain was suffered in silence. The parents accepted that as any citizens would do so. It is the price of citizenship. The ultimate sacrifice the citizens made for the country. We are the citizens of this island. Are we appreciated or are we just some digits that can be replaced by foreigners with no qualms and conscience? All parents share the grief of these unfortunate parents quietly, in their hearts. The sacrifice to the nation is not only the NS men, but the parents, the siblings and all who knew the fallen men.