Monday, May 25, 2009
It is on this day, Memorial Day, that we give remembrance and reverence to those who have fallen in the service of this great nation. Those brave souls, over the past 235 years, have individually and collectively given their lives to a nation - which over the recent decade or so has seen this day of gratitude devolve into the first "official" day of the summer traveling season, with many more news reports devoted to the price of gasoline or the size of the traffic jam at the Cordelia junction than to the stories of the men and women who, even to this day, give their lives such that others in this nation may live theirs in peace and harmony.
To any and all of you that have relatives and friends who are currently serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, may a gracious God watch over your family members until conditions and circumstances let them return to your embrace.
And to any and all of you that have relatives and friends who have given their lives in the service of this nation, you have my everlasting gratitude and respect - because that service given, and that life lost, was entirely voluntary and was given to this nation of free will. May a gracious God watch over you and your family members and friends as you tender this day to the memory of those lost such that this nation may live.
After all - it is because of the sacrifices that you and your family have made on my behalf that has allowed me the opportunity to speak in this forum, to live where I choose, to work in my chosen mode of employ, and to have the freedom to say, do, go, eat, sleep, walk, talk, work, and think in whatever fashion I choose to do (so long as it's okay with the spouse).
If you're reading this, thank a teacher. If you're reading this of your own choice, thank a veteran. If that veteran is lost, thank his or her family for what they have provided to this nation.
And may God bless the United States of America.