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05/27/2013

Memorial Day

Taken in Madison, Wisconsin during Veteran's D...Taken in Madison, Wisconsin during Veteran's Day parade (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We celebrate service in defense of our liberty on Memorial Day.

Remembrance does not glorify war - or conflict. Rather it is a solemn reminder of the cost of maintaining our freedom and a time to respect our heritage.  

My memories of watching young Marines stand before me presenting the flag are vivid.  They practiced until they performed their duty perfectly.  No exceptions.  The flag was respected, and their pride in the presentation was evident.  Looking into the faces of those young people was a reminder - they volunteered to lay down their lives for me. Such a wake up call....no way to sugar coat it. These young men and women in their dress blue uniforms  volunteered to preserve my liberty.  Living outside our country - even in a "safe" place - made one appreciate the blessed experience of being born and living in America.  This is not a cause for pride or arrogance. Rather, it inspires gratitude and humility.

Memorial Day also reminds me of all those who have come before.  I am so thankful to my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. Because of them I grew up knowing who I was.  I never had a doubt of where I belonged.   

That sense of belonging today extends to those who serve, to those who work to make my community and my state a better place and yes, to all those who remember that liberty must be defended.  We may wish it wasn't so.  Niavely, at great risk, we can ignore the fact that there are many who wish to seize power for the purpose of dictating religion, lifestyle and law.  

I once saw a sign on the side of a bus that said "Ignore your teeth and they will go away".  The same can be said for our freedom.  "Ignore your freedom and it will go away".  

Today we remember and appreciate our heroes.  We must also respect the vigilance and the price that will be required to protect our liberty on into the future.  I am hopeful our best days are yet to come.

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