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Monday, May 25, 2009

The Significance of Memorial Day

Each year less people truly observe Memorial Day. This is the day that we honor those who have given their lives defending America. It seems that the parades have gotten smaller. The crowds have gotten less. Have we forgotten that freedom isn't free?

I don't believe Memorial Day is actually for the ones who died. They have left this world and all of its cares behind. It will not affect them.

Memorial Day is for those who are living in America. We must remember that the price was the blood of these men and women we honor today. We must think of what this world would have been if these had not given their lives. We worship as we would like because these men and women gave their lives. We are able to disagree with our government, read papers from a free press, choose what we will become and pursue life, liberty and happiness because of those who fought and died.

Memorial Day is not a day to honor war. Those who go to war seldom do so because they want war. They do so because it is their duty. They may have hated the war but they loved their country more and so they fought . . . and died.

Memorial Day was created so that we would never forget.

I walked in a French city in which there was intense fighting during WWII. Some of the old buildings still had evidence of gunfire chipped into their stone. If you were not looking this would have gone unnoticed. I went to Seoul, Korea and saw the growth of a modern city that showed no evidence of war. Both of these cities would have been drastically different if Americans had not died there.

These who died kept our freedoms alive. They kept the battles and ravages of war away from our shores with few exceptions. September 11, 2001 we learned again that we must defend ourselves from those who despise us. A new generation of soldiers have gone to protect us. Many of them have also given their lives because the price of freedom never goes down.

So, we honor those who died for us. We cannot do so by telling them our appreciation. We do so by remembering what we have and who we are as Americans.

Those who have given their lives for me humble me. They also make me proud to be an American.

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