Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day Thoughts-2015

     Tomorrow, Monday May 25, is Memorial day. It is a time for honoring our military's fallen heroes, whose valorous actions have secured not only this nation's freedom for almost 240 years, but freedoms of countries around the world. I have often thought that it is a shame that this solemn and reverent occasion has been transformed into an orgy of burgers, dogs, and a day off work with pay for many Americans.
     For too many of us, especially our young who are not taught about such things, Memorial Day at best is synonymous with Veterans' Day. We have the two distinct holidays for a reason. The former is to honor those who have fallen in battle or as a result of battle or service to their country, the latter is to honor anyone who has served in our armed forces. I have recently thought that a better tribute to men and women whose ultimate sacrifice has lead to the loss of their earthly life would be for the nation to engage in a vigorous illustration of the economic freedom they helped to preserve.
     General MacArthur once stated that duty, honor, country are the values that guide the United States military, and those are the virtues that have been evident in every military member who has given their life in service to their country and its high ideals. Whether that life was given on the battlefield in a foreign land, or whether the ravages of war followed them home and cruelly extracted their final breath through the physical or mental manifestations of war. We honor, as well we should, all those who answered not only a call by their country, but a call to do right, a call by honor, and a call by justice.
     War is a terrible thing to be avoided. But avoiding war at the cost of higher values like Liberty, Justice, and Freedom, is a much more terrible thing. Plato knew that war would exist as long as men when he stated, "It is only the dead who have seen the end to war." Let us on this Memorial Day, 2015 remember the horrific and brutal deaths suffered by our countrymen in the service of our values as a nation. And let us not forget those values, thus we erase and disgrace the sacrifice of those brave, courageous, and virtuous men and women.

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