Today is memorial day, today is a day meant to commemorate the fallen soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we as Americans often take for granted. We are the "entitled" nation that often forgets how we became free in the first place. From the revolutionary war that declared us to be free people, to the world wars, Vietnam and even the war we are still fighting today... our liberties and freedoms have come at a great cost. Freedom is not free, in fact freedom is quite the opposite. The cost is not monetary, it is far more significant and absolutely valueless. The cost is life itself, the cost of our liberties is measured by a vast number of lives who have been lost or affected by the ravages of our wars.
More often these days I feel like our most significant holidays have become commercialized and twisted into something that devalues the true meaning of the day. This day has become an official "beginning" of summer and cookouts. It represents to most simply a day off from work, barbecues, swimming and leisure. However great it may be that summer is finally here, it is important that we appreciate our friends and loved ones, but also we absolutely can not forget the true meaning of this day. In countless houses across this nation, families are gathering mourning the loss of loved ones, servicemen who died serving our country. Many families are still missing loved ones who have not returned from over seas, because they are still sacrificing their own liberties so that we may sit here with our hot dogs and beer.
Being a military brat, I have a devout appreciation for those who stand up and are willing to serve our nation. Although I may not agree with the agenda's and purpose of these wars, American men and women, our soldiers have stood united to protect us. They are standing their ground and serving their country because it is their job. They are men and women with minds of their own that signed up to protect and serve, regardless of their marching orders they do as they are told because it is their duty to honor and obey. Today and most days I spend a great amount of time teaching my children about the value of freedom and what sacrifices are made so that we may be different from other countries. We've discussed in detail incidents like the Tiananmen Square massacre, and how in many places across the globe simply speaking out or standing your ground protesting something you believe in, is grounds to be brutally murdered. This day is a day to give thanks to those who have protected us, it is a day to be whole-heartedly grateful for what we have. Today is about remembering every one of our fallen soldiers, every man and woman who served this nation for a greater good, every child who lost a parent, for every soldier who remembers a brother or sister they lost in combat. I urge everyone to reach out and educate your children about what today really means. Today is a day to give thanks to all of those who have served our country. Thank You!
Arlo Guthrie, When A soldier Makes It Home