The forecasters told us the sun probably would shine brightly this morning as people gathered at Mount Hope Cemetery to honor those who died while protecting America.

This is a fine thing for those who stood among the gravestones and the fluttering flags to pay their tributes.

We certainly don’t begrudge fair weather for such an important and solemn occasion.

And yet we can’t help but acknowledge that tranquil weather, like the quiet atmosphere that pervades such events, belies the reality of what brings people together ever year on this Monday in late May.

The terrible truth, of course, is that many of those whose memories we celebrate today died not with the sun warming their faces but with cold rain pelting down. They fell not on soft, well-tended grass but into putrid mud or hard stone or the merciless cold of the sea.

This is of course the great dichotomy, the yawning divide between those who sacrificed and those who bask in the freedom those sacrifices made possible, just as they bask in the brilliant spring sunshine.

It is well that we are able, on this day and any other day, to gather and to give our belated thanks.

But what an immense price was paid by so many to make it so.