In 1943, Antoine de Saint-Exupery traveled with an American convoy to North Africa.
He later wrote this “Letter to an American” which is fitting for Memorial Day.
… If your soldiers had gone to war only for the defense of American interests, the propaganda would have emphasized your oil fields, your plantations, and your threatened commercial markets. Instead, it scarcely touched on such subjects. If other things were being spoken of, it is because your boys wanted to hear something different.
And what were they told that could motivate them to sacrifice their lives? They were told of hostages hanged in Poland. They were told of prisoners shot in France. They were told that a new form of slavery threatened to extinguish a part of Humanity. They were told not about themselves, but of others. That gave them a sense of solidarity with all mankind.
The fifty thousand soldiers in my convoy went to war not to save American citizens, but rather for Man himself, respect for Mankind, liberty for all men, the greatness of Man…