Memorial Day is a day where we stop and reflect on those who have gone on before us. Those brave men and women who sacrificed so much so we can enjoy the freedoms and lifestyle that we have today.
Thomas Jefferson once said
“What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”
While yes, unfortunately what Thomas Jefferson said is true that sometimes lives must be lost, sometimes the lives of our own. Even in times of war against ourselves, they are not forgotten, nor should they be.
We must remember that while we had a draft in the past, by and large, those joining are volunteers. They are willingly putting themselves in harm’s way to protect our very way of life. Those men and women shouldn’t be remembered during this day or weekend alone, but all year.
Every time those in our military are sent to foreign lands to fight, they experience horrors we can’t begin to imagine. They experience chaos, loss, sacrifice, and in some cases hopelessness. They experience these things and most of them overcome. They’ve overcome and the world is better for it. For them.
They’ve experienced so much and they protect us, not only from threats foreign and domestic, but also from the darkness they’ve endured. While America for a time experienced a difficult time where our best and brightest were not given the respect and dignity that they’ve more than earned, those times have ended and America is better for them ending.
America has followed Mr. Jefferson’s words in that while things may be hard for a war-torn land, we continue to do what we can to help those living in those countries to get back on their feet. Militarily and otherwise. Even after the threat subsides.
America is an experiment. An experiment on freedom and although we do occasionally slip, what country doesn’t? Regardless, we’ve done a great deal right, from ending slavery to making huge leaps in regards to women’s equality; Stopping evil dictators, and welcoming people from all over to come participate in this great experiment- in return enriching all of us.
So, for this Memorial Day, we have much to remember, much to be thankful for. For the freedoms and liberty that we enjoy, the opportunities and privileges that people from all over the world come here for, from the gathering of culture so we can honor our motto of “out of many, one.” For our ability to worship without having the state come and harass us or worse. For our ability to express our thoughts legally to those who lead knowing that in other countries people are executed for doing so. All of these and so much more.