My husband was a veteran of WWII. He and his teenage friends found themselves swallowed up by the terrible, ravenous monster of WWII. Some of them went to Europe and he found himself on a ship headed for the South Pacific. Years later, I heard brief, grim stories of beach landings—always he said in the third wave—Stifling nights in a jungle that was dangerous even if there had been no war. He never talked about it much, but I always got one message loud and clear. It wasn’t for nothing. Come election day, or hell or high water, he and I showed up to VOTE. He never preached patriotism but wore it proudly, like the uniform he still had tucked away in a dresser drawer. Make no mistake, he could criticize elected leaders with anyone—and usually did. But—if asked if voting was really worth it, does one vote really make a difference—the eyes of that strong man’s man figure, the embodiment of what it meant to be an American, would glimmer and he would tell you, yes it does. He knew too well that your right to vote cost a terrible price. Don’t waste it.