"Our" View: Memorial Day
You said the things you wanted to say. You walked into the house that you bought and paid for. You read a newspaper that free of propaganda. You bought the food you wanted to eat, wore the clothes you wanted to wear, and worked at a job you wanted to have.
Welcome to America. These are your freedoms. You're lucky to have them. Many don't.
This year, as in years past, we honor the men and women of the United States who fought and died to protect us. We call this celebration Memorial Day. We lay flowers on the graves of the lost, pray that no more will be taken, and reflect on the luxuries they have afforded us.
Then, we move on. The day ends. Just another day in the scheme of life.
What does the day even mean to us? Why do we treat it like just another day?
Around the world, people live in countries devoid of the very privileges we just mentioned. For them, each day is hell.
If they live though the mass shooting or bombing raid the night before, they're lucky to find a mere morsel of food to eat.
If their children have a school to go to, they have to dodge bullets to get there. And once they're at school, they are taught only the things their government wants them to know.
If they have a job, they have no protections. They're happy to make just enough to be able to provide food for their families. It's not always enough, but it's more than nothing.
If they can find healthcare, it's not in a state-of-the-art medical facility with college-educated doctors. A shaman or other medicine man might be their only hope for survival.
If they can go to church, it's not by their own choice. It's the church they're forced to go to, and it doesn't preach a message like any we have ever heard of.
These are the good scenarios. For many of the people living on Planet Earth, each day is much worse. None of this is an exaggeration. This is reality for most of the world.
With all of this pain and suffering, we have to ask: Why are we here in America so blessed? Why do we have the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Why were we so chosen to be the most fortunate people in the entire world?
We didn't earn it. We didn't deserve it. We didn't give anything up for it.
But there are those who did. They are a courageous people who signed their names on the dotted line, knowing that they may never return. They put on their uniforms, understanding the sacrifice they were about to make. They turned to the battlefield with strength, willing to fight to protect all that they knew and loved. And they died, willingly laying down their lives so that we may enjoy the freedoms we hold so dear – and so take for granted.
Those people are not celebrities. They're not politicians. They're not multi-millionaires.
Those people are the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. We owe it all to them.
For each day that we have life, others gave theirs up. They charged forward into battle, whether at home or abroad, ready to do anything necessary to protect the land that they love.
And in all cases, they made the ultimate sacrifice. They were burned, starved, stabbed, and shot by vicious, subhuman monsters seeking to destroy the very fabric of our nation.
Those foes never succeeded, thank God. But millions have given up God's greatest gift so that we may retain it: life as a free person.
Every breath you take was fought for by someone who is no longer here. They did not even know you, and yet they died for you. There was nothing more they could do, and yet they did everything.
For you. For me. For us. For America.
This Memorial Day, you don't have to decorate a grave. You don't have to have a cookout. You don't have to attend a parade. There is just one thing – one thing – that we ask you to do.
Don't take your rights for granted.
You can speak, you can write, you can listen, you can think, you can work, you can play.
You can live. You can breathe. But you don't have to die. Someone has already done that for you.
This Memorial Day, cherish your rights. They were bought at the ultimate price.
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