Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
For me it’s always hard to put into words exactly how I feel on Memorial Day. How exactly does one say enough about those who give their last full measure of devotion in service of their country? Compared to that, how can any words ever be sufficient?
The United States military is the greatest force for good the world has ever known. Our brave men and women have fought and died to not only keep America free, but to ensure freedom and liberty around the world. Hundreds of millions have been liberated from tyranny and oppression because of our brave fighting forces.
In the course of keeping America safe, and Liberty’s Light shining bright, too many brave warriors have been lost. I am constantly in awe of these great men and women who put their lives on the line every day. Ours is a professional army. Every member is there because they choose this as their profession, their calling. They do this knowing they face grave danger. They are the bravest of the brave.
Ted Nugent writing in the Washington Times offers this salute to our fallen. He reminds us that every day should be Memorial Day:
Every day is Memorial Day
We owe America's warriors who gave their lives for freedom
I live to remember. I have not forgotten that America is still at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, that our finest citizens have volunteered to put themselves in harm's way in the name of freedom. The media overall have done a grave disservice to our warriors and their families, who have been asked to sacrifice so much. The war is now barely covered by the media.
Maybe so-called journalists have forgotten. The media have moved on.
Not me. I have chosen to dig in and never forget. Not a day goes by that I am not reminded, often painfully, that America is at war. The cards, letters, pictures and e-mails I receive on a daily basis from America's finest and their families embolden me to be a better American, to be even more appreciative of the freedoms, liberties and opportunities provided me and you with the blood of warriors. These brave American warriors and the warriors who have gone before them humble me to my core. There are no words to express my appreciation for their bravery, commitment and sacrifice. The same goes for their families, who are left behind to soldier on while their loved ones go off to war. God bless them all.
We owe it to these brave Americans and their families to win this war with our honor intact, not to telegraph to the enemy when we are packing up and leaving the battlefield. I'm no military tactician, but announcing when we are leaving the battlefield is analogous to putting an ad in your local newspaper to let all local punks and thugs know when you are going on vacation so they can plunder your home.
I stand with most Americans demanding a victory strategy, not an exit strategy.
When we commit our troops to war, we must make a commitment to them and their families that we will achieve total victory through the application of total war.
Of the thousands of brave American warriors I have met since Sept. 11, 2001, not one has expressed a desire to leave the battlefield without victory. They all want to stay and finish the job. The commander in chief should remember how freedom has been achieved throughout history and let these trained warriors do their job. That's how I remember.
As parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, we owe it to America's finest to educate the youth of the United States that many brave Americans have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. Teach them that freedom isn't free. Teach them that the American military has freed more people from the shackles of tyranny and slavery than any other force in the history of the world. Teach them to remember this not just on Memorial Day, but every day.
America is at war. Thousands of Americans have paid the ultimate sacrifice, and thousands more have been wounded. Pause to remember them this Memorial Day. Say a prayer for the warriors and their families. They are the world's true freedom fighters.
Never forget them. Make every day Memorial Day.
Sarah Palin offers her remembrance and thanks.
Memorial Day, to Remember Past and Present Sacrifice
"Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic."
- General Orders No.11, Grand Army of the Republic Headquarters, May 5, 1868
This weekend, as we enjoy time with family and friends, we should stop and remember the meaning of this national holiday. Memorial Day is a uniquely American holiday that finds its origins in the aftermath of our Civil War, when our country searched for a proper way to commemorate the many who had fallen in the long struggle to end slavery and unify our nation.
Today, we remember all of those throughout our history and to this very day who gave their lives serving our country in uniform. Our prayers are especially with the surviving family members for whom everyday is memorial day, as they live on remembering their loved ones who died selflessly to protect the freedoms we hold dear.
And on Memorial Day, let us also remember all veterans, past and present, because everyone who wears the uniform and swears the oath is willing to make that ultimate sacrifice for America. So, in honoring them let’s keep in mind this version of a popular poem as we show respect for those willing to sacrifice all for our exceptional country:
"It is the veteran, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.
It is the veteran, who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag, and whose coffin will be draped by the flag."
- Sarah Palin
(Enjoy this version of the poem recited by Fred Thompson.)
No truer words were ever spoken. We are the land of the free, because we are the home of the brave. Remember this every time you see one of our brave men and women in uniform. Take time, go over and thank them. These are our finest.
And never, ever, forget those who have given their full measure of devotion so that all of us remain free.