We owe it to the fallen not only to never forget them for their sacrifice, but also to celebrate the freedom that they so [selflessly] and so ultimately defended for our sake.”
–Robert J Pape, Jr.
Last week I ran across a blog that succinctly conveyed all that I was hoping to as I thought of putting together an article for Memorial Day.
I realize that the Memorial Day weekend is normally spent enjoying an extra day off from work, and anticipating warmer weather and the start of summer.
Flags for the fallen of Vietnam Vets But, the day itself—set aside to honor the fallen veterans of this country—has an important purpose. Writing for the Plainview Patch [NY], Robert J. Pape, Jr. begins his blog with the familiar, striking words of President Lincoln:
“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Pape then notes how those words are just as true today as they were back in 1863, when first spoken.
“Far too many of these brave souls made the ultimate sacrifice,” continues Pape. “The cost of our freedom is indeed high. To these honored dead we pause on Memorial Day to reflect on the sacrifice made by them; many not older than their early twenties, who performed extraordinary service with bravery and resolve under circumstances most of us can’t even imagine. Hopefully, we will always keep their sacrifice in our minds eye by not taking our freedom for granted and never abusing the freedom which has been entrusted to us.
“So, as the unofficial start of the summer begins, let us take a break from our work routine and enjoy the company of family and friends at picnics and barbeques and of course the wonderful parade down Main Street. …We owe it to the fallen not only to never forget them for their sacrifice, but also to celebrate the freedom that they so [selflessly] and so ultimately defended for our sake.”