Memorial Day: Honor those who gave everything for you
You woke up today. You said the things you wanted to say. You walked into the house that you own. 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 people don't.
On Monday, our nation will honor the men and women of the United States who fought and died to protect us. We call this celebration Memorial Day. Each year, we lay flowers on soldiers' graves and pray that no more lives will be taken by war.
Then, we move on. The day ends. Just another day in the scheme of life.
What does the day even mean to us? Do we treat it like just another day?
Around the world, people live in countries devoid of the very privileges I just mentioned. For them, each day is hell. If they live though a mass shooting or bombing raid the night before, they're lucky to find 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 learn only the things their government leaders want them to know. If they have a job, they have no protections. They're happy to make just enough to provide morsels of food for their families. But it's not always enough.
If they can find healthcare, it's not in a state-of-the-art medical facility staffed by college-educated doctors. 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.
For many of the people living on Planet Earth, each day is probably much worse. This is reality for many people in our world.
With all of this pain and suffering, we have to ask: Why are we so blessed here in America? Why do we have the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Why were we chosen to be the most fortunate people in the entire world?
You and I didn't give up our lives to earn those freedoms. But some did. They are the courageous people who signed their names on the dotted line, knowing that they may never return home. They put on their uniforms, understanding the sacrifices they were about to make. They ran toward to the battlefield with strength, fighting to protect all that they knew and loved. And many died, willingly laying down their lives so that we may enjoy the freedoms we have today.
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 everything 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 greatest nation in the world.
Some made the ultimate sacrifice. They were burned, starved, stabbed and shot by those 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 free people.
Every breath we take was fought for by someone who is no longer here. They did not even know us, and yet they died for us.
For you. For me. For us. For America.
You can speak, you can write, you can listen and you can think. You can live. You can breathe.
Cherish your rights. They were bought at the ultimate price.
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