Living Memorial Day Every Day
As we roll into Memorial Day 2014, every American should indeed pause to give earnest thanks to the American service men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Those men and women were sons and daughters, dads and moms, brothers and sisters, and each left a hole in a family that never got to live out the big and small life events with the ones who were lost. It is important to recognize the ultimate sacrifice made by those soldiers rippled through families, churches and communities, with impact no one can measure.
I think often about the fact that throughout human history no soldier who went off to war knew whether he would ever return. Many left their homes assuming they would not come home again. And still they went.
I ponder also the fact that soldiers fought in every war since time began, without knowing what the outcome would be. I think of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and other iconic American historical leaders whose deeds are now memorialized as heroic, and remember that they did not know if they would win. They only knew they had to fight. They believed in some principle that was so important that it was worth putting their lives on the line, and the lives of our precious young men and later young women.
While many soldiers were drafted or otherwise coerced into service, countless others volunteered. Many expressed the idea that they had to fight, for if they did not, who would? And what if no one would stand up?
Where would the world be now if the tyrants of history faced no opposition? If no one had been willing to fight to free the slaves in America, or to stop the march of the Nazis, or to stand against the evil of Communism?
America has a noble military history, which may be imperfect but is still the noblest on earth. In large part America fought on the right side of important battles, and even bigger, of important ideological battles. We fought against repressive tyrannical government in the Revolutionary war, against slavery and ultimately against inequality in the Civil War, against murderous tyranny and racial/religious bigotry in WW II, against Communism (and socialism and related evils) in the Vietnam War and the Korean conflict, and against the evil of radical Islamic jihadism in Iraq, Afghanistan and in pockets of radical Islam around the world.
So to really honor Memorial Day, stand every day against inequality, slavery (economic and physical), tyrannical repressive unresponsive government, communism/socialism/Marxism and other collectivist evils. Defend the uniqueness and the greatness of America in your daily conversations. This is the perpetual honoring of our fallen American troops we can all do, every day.