I am always proud to be an American, but never more so than on Memorial Day; a commemoration that I find both moving and humbling.
In thousands of small towns from the Atlantic to the Pacific people pause from their daily routines to conduct parades and ceremonies during which we honor the lives lost in battles around the globe by soldiers fighting under America’s banner. It is one of the few days when most American put aside their differences and pay tribute to those without whom liberty would be impossible.
Memorial Day is humbling because it reminds me of the huge and ultimate sacrifices that many men and women made: not only the sacrifices of those in uniform; but the anguish of the families they left behind to mourn the premature passing of their sons and daughters, wives and husbands. By comparison, our sacrifices seem small and our complaints trivial.
From the founding of this great nation until today there have always been men and women willing to lay down their lives for freedom and fight for the principles this country stands for. Without them, where would we be today?
The freedom to live our lives as we choose was not given to us; it had to be fought for – not just once – but continually; because there are many despots around the world who conspire to take away our freedom and our right to self- determination.
This year Memorial Day has special significance because it is followed 10 days later by the 75th Anniversary Of D-Day – the Allied landing in France in 1944. The bravery of those men who stormed the beaches of Normandy – into the teeth of the Nazi’s formidable defenses to liberate a continent most of them had never seen — is heroic beyond description. And it defines American greatness.
Yes, I believe America is a great nation and it will continue to be great as long as it reflects the character of the people who love liberty so much, they are willing to die for it.
Happy Memorial Day