When I first heard this song, I had no idea it was based in reality. I thought it was simply a song about WWII. Then I read up about it, and the story caught my interest.
The Sullivan boys were from Waterloo, IA (about an hour and a half from where I live). All five joined the Navy, and they insisted that they serve together. Not even a year after they shipped out, their ship was torpedoed and all five died.
It had a lasting impact on the war. It brought about the Sole Survivor policy (which is the basis for Saving Private Ryan).
Their parents' reactions are what intrigued me. They could have been understandably enraged at the government and the military after suffering such enormous grief. Instead, they used their grief to encourage and uphold the war effort. They took something terrible and used it for something constructive.
Let's remember the Sullivans, as well as countless others who have died in war. Many people are uncomfortable with the military. But even in a conflict that, in hindsight, was a bad idea, the soldiers who died did so because they believed they were making a difference in this world. Let's not use this day to complain about the government or the military for the bad things that they have caused. Use it to remember those who were brave enough to put themselves in the line of fire for their country and the people that live in it.