Wouldn’t it be great if there was no Memorial Day?
“Huh?” may be your first response. Sounds terribly unpatriotic, doesn’t it? Perhaps even mean. But stay with me for a moment. Why do we have Memorial Day? We take a day to remember the many men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation. They fought in wars and died so that we could continue to live in freedom. But just think for a moment if we did not need to have wars in order to live in freedom? If we did not need to send our young men and women to fight against people who want to take away our freedom? If we could simply live in freedom without having to defend it? If all of that was true, then we would not need to have Memorial Day because there would be war where people died. There would be no one to remember. Wouldn’t that be great? No Memorial Day because no one died. No families grieve. No cemeteries are marked with flags. We are free and everyone in the whole world is O.K. with that. In fact, we all are free.
But alas, let’s get back to reality. We do have war. Men and women die in it. Families are deeply saddened because of it. We have to fight to defend liberty. Unfortunately in our world, defending freedom is a given. Memorial Day is a fixture in our year because somebody somewhere thinks democracy is a bad idea. And they feel compelled to do what they can to take it from others. They always have and they always will, therefore we defend freedom, always have and always will.
Each Memorial Day I am reminded of the many people who grieve the loss of a spouse, child, parent, sibling or friend because they stood up to people who wanted to control others. I’ve watched news stories of peoples who never made it back home, to the embrace of their families. That is why I am against war and yet, I understand that war is a terrible necessity in our world. Freedom is one of those privileges that we must not take for granted. It matters. It is costly. Someone has to fight for it each day. Millions have died for it. And today we remember and give honor to those who have given their lives in this fight. Let us never forget.