05/30/05 — We remember: A grateful nation pauses to reflect on price of freedom

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We remember: A grateful nation pauses to reflect on price of freedom

On Memorial Day, we remember those men and women who through the years and across several wars are giving and have given their lives in defense of their nation and freedom.

Placing flags on their graves and remembering what they have sacrificed are the least we can do today. Taking care of the families they have left behind is part of our duty as a grateful nation, and should remain a priority.

Preserving their memory and telling the stories of their heroism are just two ways we can say thank you to these airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines. The other is to make sure we remember as a country what it costs to defend our freedom and to never forget that decisions to engage the enemy, while often the responsibility that goes along with being free, should always be tempered with the knowledge of what we might lose.

But as we honor those who have fallen and tell the stories of their courage, we should also remember those who are defending our freedom and nation now. There are thousands of American troops still in harm’s way, serving their country in the Middle East. Some might lose their lives today as they assist Iraq in forging a new future and continue to battle the forces that bring terror to that country and the world. We should think of them as we mark this day with our families and friends.

Their stories are inspiring, too.

Honoring those who are currently on active duty is not something we should do just on holidays, either. These young men and women are away from their families, and are missing all the milestones and holidays that go along with that time away from home. They don’t know what tomorrow will bring or if they will ever see their families again. They are there to do a job, and they are carrying out those duties with honor and courage.

We should think of them as we honor the heroes who have served before them.

This is a day to be proud to be an American, and to cherish the freedom so many have fought so hard to protect.

This is a day to remember.

Published in Editorials on May 30, 2005 10:51 AM