Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memoral Day

"We sleep soundly in our beds at night because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." -George Orwell (I've also seen it attributed to Winston Churchill)

Memorial Day will be celebrated across the United States tomorrow, and in a subdued fashion, on our bases all over the world, in honor of those who have died defending freedom. Your freedom. My freedom. Your neighbors, and your child's freedom. In many cases, the United States has fought for the freedom of another country's citizens as well. We joined the effort in WWI to turn the tide of the war in Europe. We stepped in again during WWII to liberate the French and allow the British to keep on fighting the good fight. We once again headed to war in Korea, and in Vietnam-to stop the spread of Communism, and to keep the people in those places from having to live under misery and oppression. And today, regardless of your politics, we once again fight for freedom.

It doesn't much matter to me what the "behind the scenes" reasons were for coming to Iraq. We released the Iraqi people from a horrible dictator. We have built schools, roads, hospitals. We've trained them so that they can keep order. We've given them the power of a vote-and even in the oppressive Middle Eastern climate, even women now have a say in who their leaders will be.

Our troops in Afghanistan have done the same, and soldiers, sailors, marines, and airman are fighting the good fight in two theaters of operations now to keep the enemy from our back door.

And yet, so many people seem to forget the significance of this day. So many see it as the start of summer, the opening of the pool. Or just another day off work, to throw some burgers on the grill and drink beer. By all means, enjoy yourself on this day-but just don't forget the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have given their lives up in the course of our nations short history, so that your could enjoy that burger, and drink that beer.

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