Memorial Day is the day we honor the men and women who died protecting this country. They were citizens who volunteered or were drafted, and who went willingly to fight for their country.
As JFK said, “Ask what you can do for your country.”
The people we remember and honor today saw the challenges and dangers facing our country. They asked themselves what they could do, answered the question and then did what was needed by serving in our military.
They all paid an awful price. For many, it was the ultimate price. But for all of them, it was an honorable price.
Their choices and the prices they paid helped guarantee the intrinsic freedoms of the United States for a few years longer.
If a person learns one thing in this life, it’s that nothing is permanent, nothing is certain and good things need to be defended and protected.
Freedom is especially fragile and must never be taken for granted. “Eternal vigilance” says it all. That means every generation will be called to do its part – large or small – to maintain the
Founding Fathers’ vision as they created the framework of law, justice and freedom that is the United States of America.
There are many today who have spent their whole lives in peacetime and prosperity. On the one hand, that’s a state of life to which we aspire, but we pay a price. We have become soft and gradually lulled into unawareness that our very economic and social contentment would, and likely will, lead to our downfall.
We are headed in that direction.
Why should we be any different? It’s happened before in societies across the centuries, including during our lifetimes. It will happen again and it could be us. Prosperity and comfort lead to complacency which means a people become an easy target for enemies.
Despite the blather from Washington about what words are politically correct to use, yes, we do have enemies. They are staunch enemies who hate us for who and what we are, what we have and what we stand for.
Ultimately we are hated for our freedoms that enable people to reach their individual potential based on their unique efforts to succeed. We are allowed the fruits of our labor.
But over the decades, enemies of our freedoms were the reason our military fought battles and the reason so many were injured and killed.
We honor our military dead today, but this must not be the only time we remember them. We must keep them and their sacrifices ever on our mind as we move into a dark and uncertain future.
If we do not learn from our past, we will condemn generations of our finest young people – our children and grandchildren – to the same terrible destiny these honored war dead faced.
But it’s not simple. We face a new type of enemy today, new kinds of warfare and involvements with cultures that simply do not have the same values as ours.
This enemy we face is one that not only wants to destroy us economically, it wants to change us at our social and cultural core and turn our government and society into a mirror image of theirs.
The human losses of these new conflicts will help ensure the future safety of our people and our country – for a time, at least – if we’re lucky.
In light of the enormity of the selfless sacrifices we honor this Memorial Day, it’s not only saddening, it’s infuriating that so many in our government wear blinders to the dangers at our doorstep and inside our very homes.
It’s exacerbated by the man who is president choosing not to attend the Gold Star Breakfast and the memorial ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery.
But one thing is certain: Americans are watching. They see clearly that what Obama is doing – or rather, not doing – is the ultimate insult to our war dead and their families.
It will come back to bite him politically. Upcoming elections will be affected by such decisions from the administration. They think Americans won’t notice and don’t care.
They will and they do. Americans are not ready to give up our country for the sake of a politically correct worldview that emanates from the current administration.
Obama’s rebuff of our military dead will only serve to embolden Americans of all ages to do what is right and necessary to protect us, even if Barack Obama doesn’t.