Memorial Day Reflection

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day! Today we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Martin Luther King said, "Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed." Many who made that demand paid the price with their lives. That's the irony of freedom: it's nothing if not costly.

I asked my students on Friday what Memorial Day was about. You know, until you ask, you don't realize how much people really don't know. We take so much for granted. We assume people know why we're doing what we're doing, when sometimes they simply don't. May we work to make sure that a day like today isn't just a day off, a barbecue, and time to "chill out." It is essential that we reflect on the meaning behind our rituals--and talk to our children about it.

Today, let's be mindful of those who made it possible for us to do the things we do and say the things we say. We must honor those who laid down their lives--and then we must join in the fight in our own way. Most of us will never know what it is to step onto the battle field with our lives and the lives of our countrymen and women on the line. But more and more of the freedoms that these people fought and died for are being trampled on. America, we cannot let this happen. The price paid was too high, the cause too dear. It is essential that we pray for this nation and for its leaders. And when we get off our knees, we need to get involved and take a stand for the cause of freedom and righteousness. And we must pass this on to our children who will pass it on to theirs.

So today as we spend time with the ones we love most, let's remember those who left the ones they loved most for a cause that was greater than themselves, and let's honor them--and carry on. Their deaths must not be in vain.


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