A Point of View: Memorial Day reflections
Many in our community and country have stood firm for freedom and liberty. We will not forget, on this Memorial Day or any day, the valiant sacrifice of those men and women who gave their lives for our country.
We pay tribute to our American veterans, and to all of our current armed service and civilian personnel, who are in the service of our country. The story of America has been written by the selfless and noble deeds of hard-working men and women dedicated to liberty and justice in a free society. Our American veterans and current service and non-uniformed personnel are endemic of that ranking. We extol them for their dedication to our homeland and liberty.
Today, the United States stands as a beacon of hope for all humanity, because our nation’s experiment as a republic has been guarded and ennobled by the men and women of yesterday and today.
We often take for granted the freedoms we enjoy. Those liberties were paid for with the lives of others few of us actually knew. This is a national debt that can be repaid only by individual Americans. By honoring the nation’s war dead, we preserve their memory and memorialize their service and sacrifice.
Over the course of our history, some 42 million Americans have served, and more than 1 million have given the supreme sacrifice, so that we and future generations of Americans might live in freedom. We are the beneficiaries of their courage, sacrifice and dedication, and so are countless of freedom-loving people around the world.
In the past century alone, through two world wars and the long, tense struggles of the Cold War and on the front lines of conflict and battle, our brave men and women in and out of uniform have risked all they had to protect U.S. interests, assist our allies, promote peace and advance freedom. They fought our enemies on foreign shores, at sea and in the air to preserve freedom. Ronald Reagan said, “No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.”
President John F. Kennedy said, “Democracy is never a final achievement. It is a call to untiring effort, to continual sacrifice and to the willingness, if necessary, to die in its defense.”
We give thanks to these brave men and women and current members of our armed forces and willing civilians for their valiant dedication. Whether serving on bases and in ports at home or deployed across the globe, they have endured hardship and danger to protect our nation and to assist freedom-loving people around the world. Their deeds of commitment and valor bind us in our past, inspire us in the present and strengthen us to meet the challenges of the future. They were and are truly faithful to their country and an inspiration we will not forget.