It is still a couple of weeks away, but to learn that two Thursdays from now the Patriot Guard will be escorting home the remains of an airman shot down over Laos during the Vietnam War has us thinking.

Perhaps reflecting is a better word. Of course, Wayne County honors all of its veterans -- and is grateful to all who have served or do serve our nation.

It just strikes of a different time, to look at the television over the weekend and see millions marching in protest, not just on Washington, D.C., but in cities across the country, even here in Wayne County. There is political unrest, a president enveloped in controversy and bodies are still being brought home from Vietnam. What decade is this?

It seems that no matter our technological achievements, or our strides toward a more cohesive existence, the fundamental things remain -- politics, poverty, war, death.

Society exists in a state of perpetual motion, either ascending or devolving, building or collapsing. Either can be interrupted, and often extreme swings in one direction are followed by a rapid correction back to center or, in counter-extremes, the opposite direction.

It stands to reason that no matter how long the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan rage on, there will be others. No matter how controversial this president or presidency is, there will be others. No matter how vitriolic or vile the previous election cycle was or this upcoming midterm might get, there will be others.

But, for a few moments on April 5, as the procession passes under overpasses adorned with firetrucks draping Old Glory over the railings in tribute, all the way down to Wayne Memorial Drive, we will again be reminded that it comes down to individual sacrifice, honor and courage. It is because of those traits that we all still have the chance to swing with the pendulum, to play a part in the corrections and to be proud, no matter the angst we sometimes find ourselves in over this issue or that, to live together within these borders.