Like many others, I’ve been reflecting this Memorial Day weekend on the countless men and women who have given their lives for this country and the ideals upon which it was founded. I have thought about so many brave Americans who didn’t hesitate to throw themselves into harms way when called, and who breathed their last breath in lands far from home. I’ve thought much about how we can best thank and honor these men and women.
I believe that, at the very least, we honor the fallen by doing two things – 1) by vigorously exercising our individual liberties every day, and 2) by participating in doing what is necessary to sustain the liberty that so many have died for.
It’s all too easy, while navigating the trials of life, to lose sight of how remarkably blessed we are! We Americans are living a life that most throughout the ages could only dream of. The American experiment is a mere blip of stunning contrast with the misery that characterizes all of human history. We can literally be and do whatever we wish, anything that we set our minds to. I have two children who are both through college, and each has identified their passions and are pursuing them. Nothing was dictated to them, and the only limits placed on them were self imposed. Watching them grow and mature into good citizens has reminded me that even now, as our individual liberties are being whittled away, America is still a land of immense opportunity, and it follows that people from all over the world still yearn to come here.
Wendell Phillips said that “eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.” This nation was born on the blood and sacrifice of countless men who pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honors to the vision of a land where people are free, and oceans of blood have been spilled in wars to this very day to preserve this island of liberty. It is nothing short of tragic that so many seem comfortable in watching our liberty eroded, at an increasing pace especially during the last six years. We diminish the sacrifice of each and every one who spilled their blood when we sit quietly while we lose our freedom to associate with who we want, when we want, when we lose our freedom to engage in commerce with those that we choose, when we are charged with a crime when we exercise our religious beliefs if they differ from those who make and enforce our laws. These are no small things – they’re the very things that those who settled here well before the founding were seeking.
So, this Memorial Day, I’ll attend at least one ceremony honoring all who have served and sacrificed, and I’ll be reflecting on all that’s been done to secure our individual, inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I’ll exercise my religious freedom, and I’ll thank God for those brave men and women, I’ll pray for those who live on after losing a friend or loved one, and I’ll pray for wisdom and courage, that I might do my part, small as it may be, to sustain what has been bought with the precious blood of so many.
God bless you all on this Memorial Day, and may God continue to bless these United States of America.