On this day
~ Remember why ~
Memorial Day weekend is a time set aside to remember those Americans who gave their all, their very life, in service to our country,
where some take so casually the freedom we love.
"Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders.
The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return."
Most are unaware of the vast numbers of Americans who followed the call to duty, and in doing so, have done as was said:
"Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."
Since our country was born 240 years ago, more than one million Americans gave their life in service to our country - to create our nation,
to save our Union, and to help free the world from tyranny. More than 410,000 of those in World War II did so. They came from what
some have called "The Greatest Generation", as their sacrifice in service overseas was more than any other. Many have followed.
They all came to understand the meaning of the words... "Duty. Honor. Country."
Our very foundation began with our Declaration of Independence*, but its final words have faded from the memory of many:
"... for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,
we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
Fifty-five years ago now, a new President - one from that "Greatest Generation" - gave a memorable Inaugural address**, parts of which
have been quoted many times by other politicians. But the final words of that address have been quoted sparingly, if at all:
"...The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans - born in this century, tempered by war,
disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage - unwilling to witness or permit
the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed,
and to which we are committed today at home and around the world...
With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love,
asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth, God's work must truly be our own."