James Webb now a US Senator from Virginia gave a 1990 speech at a Confederate memorial. Without endorsing the entire speech I do agree with this portion:
There are at least two lessons for us to take away from such a day of remembrance. The first is one our leaders should carry next to their breasts, and contemplate every time they face a crisis, however small, which puts our military at risk. it should echo in their consciences, from the power of a million graves . It is simply this: You hold our soldiers' lives in sacred trust. When a citizen has sworn to obey you, and follow your judgment, and walk onto a battlefield to defend the interests you define as worthy of his blood, do not abuse that awesome power through careless policy, unclear objectives, or inflexible leadership.
There is currently talk of sending more troops to Afghanistan. Given that our objectives there are unclear to me I would hope President Obama will consider carefully whether committing more troops is wise.