This past Monday, Americans celebrated Memorial Day. Truly, this is a day on which we both remember and honor our veterans who paid the ultimate price to defend the many freedoms we all enjoy as citizens of this great and mighty nation.
Never doubt that we are a great nation and the United States of America should never have apologies rendered in its defense. Throughout its history, America has long defended itself, as well as many other nations. We are a proud nation and we are a free nation. To those whom we honor and remember each and every Memorial Day, we owe both an unmeasurable and a priceless debt that can never be repaid.
Memorial Day is a day where we mourn as a nation, even though many people do not realize this. I say this because for many years I could have been counted in this group — I thought of Memorial Day more as a celebration instead of a day of remembrance and mourning. Yes, there is celebration and recognition as it marks the beginning of summer the end of school, grilling, swimming, and local remembrance ceremonies — all of these Memorial Day traditions I always looked forward to growing up — but we can never forget the real reason for Memorial Day. There is absolutely no question about it and this matter shall never be up for debate: Memorial Day is the day that we remember those who put down their own lives to help make America the greatest country in the world and the greatest nation the world has ever known.
For 242 years, the survival of our country has depended upon those who are willing to
sacrifice their own lives in order to protect our freedoms and our way of life. The words divine and providence are so often used together in defining this great nation of ours. I use the word “ours” with heavy intent. This nation is ours. We should never permit any one individual or group of individuals to take our nation over or take our nation away from us. This nation belongs to us all.
That also means we all have rights. Whether or not we like what someone has to say or the cause for which they stand, they have rights. In America, they have the freedom and the right to say it, and we all have that freedom, not just an elite few of us who are trying to persuade the political debate and dialog in a particular direction. This means that those who do not agree with a particular political direction have no right to completely squash or quiet that movement solely in an effort to further their own personal political agenda(s). Where this gets tricky is we have every right and freedom for our view(s) to be known and our voice(s) to be heard. However, sometimes this can get totally out of hand and lines can be crossed, even to the point of breaking the law.
I love the word freedom and in America, we are free. That means free to speak what we think and feel, free to worship when and where we choose, free to succeed with hard work, free to associate and to work with whom we choose, and so much more. These freedoms are a gift. A divine and precious gift from God and once again, a gift afforded us by those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
However, we should never lose sight of the fact that we have to work hard in order to succeed in striving for both the many pleasures and the way of life that we desire. None of us should just expect anything at all to be simply given to us. After all, hard work and sacrifice in combination with the freedoms mentioned above are what makes our country what it is. These are the things that make our nation great. Thus, Memorial Day is an ultimate time of remembrance, honor and tribute.
Randy Brown is publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org