"Freedom is not free. Our enjoyment of this country, our freedoms, our liberty, came at a cost - a cost borne by millions of service people who never came home."
America. Freedom. Liberty. What exactly is it? This thing which for years has called our young men and women into the service of their country. Knowing that whenever, or where ever you serve in the Armed Forces of these United States, you could find yourself deep in harm's way. And when some of these young men and women did find themselves in harm's way, some did not make it out. They gave all, for this wonderful and free country. To put it differently, they did it for us. Now, and generations to come.
There are some as of late, who have been offshore and talked about what is wrong with America. How we have really screwed things up in the past. I am not one of those people. I have a deep, abiding love for this country, warts (all be them very few), and all. These United States truly are the fruited plains, the golden pastures, the majestic hills and mountains, which stretch from sea to sea.
This country, this great American Experiment, has been a blessing for mankind in the 20th century. Yes, without the United States, and the unquenchable thirst for freedom of the people who live here, the world would be a much different place today. American blood has been spilled in just about every corner of the world. Why? No matter the generation, young men and women knew the preservation of liberty and freedom was more important than life itself.
Memorial Day is always a humbling time for me. We can never personally thank the ones who gave this gift of freedom to us. We can never thank them in person, but we can thank them by simply doing this - continuing to pay it forward. Preserve this great land. Preserve our freedoms. Our great republic.
There is one more thing which I am convinced of. If voices could be heard coming from our national cemeteries, they would be telling us to do this - enjoy what we have. What they died for. In other words, never feel guilty on Memorial Day weekend when you head up north. Have a picnic. Go fishing. Whatever you want to do for enjoyment by living in this great land. But they would want us to also remember one important fact. Freedom is not free. Our enjoyment of this country, our freedoms, our liberty, came at a cost - a cost borne by millions of service people who never came home.
Yes, this is America. Home of the brave, and land of the free. As Bono the musician once said, "America is not so much a place as it is an idea. And that idea has now been shared with the world." Bingo. From sea to shining sea, America continues to be that shining city on the hill. A beacon of hope for the hopeless. May God continue to bless this great country.