Regardless of your political party, religious preference, or other typical means of dividing groups of people up, we all crave freedom. So, today, I am reminded that I have friends who have fought and are fighting to help ensure that freedom. Although I may not support every military endeavor carried out by America, I do support those who have dedicated their lives to work to keep this country safe, secure, and free. It isn't easy to follow orders you may not agree with or to potentially face death at the hands of hostile foes. Since the founding of our nation, men and women have died to ensure that we have the right to disagree, to speak up, and for our very survival as a nation. Some of these men and women have been neglected and forgotten over time. We forget that many have sacrificed their lives to allow us to be where we are today and enjoy the freedoms that we do. May we remember their sacrifices, and not forget them, so that we understand how painful it is to send sons, daughters, husbands, wives, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, grandchildren, and friends into harm's way. The choice to be selfless is a difficult one. Wars have robbed us of many talented, courageous, and deeply reverent men and women. Their talents and gifts have been lost to the beaches of Normandy, the farmlands of the American south, and the jungles of Vietnam. Many additional brave men and women have been gravely wounded, maimed, and psychologically scarred. Since the beginning of history soldiers have been tasked with bearing many burdens that many of us would never want to face. I have never had to shoot another man to save myself, or watch my peers die in front of my eyes. I haven't seen prisoners of war, and I've never seen the damage caused by bombs with my own eyes. These are horrors I wish that the world could remove. However, I know that without them, many of us may not realistically be here today or would live in a dramatically different world.
With that in mind, today is Memorial Day. We remember the dead and salute the living. Thank you to all those that are currently serving in the military and to those who have previously served as well! I am incredibly grateful that I'm able to have the freedoms that I do as a result of your service. Take the time today, or in the upcoming week, to tell those that are serving how much your appreciate their service. Because, when it really comes down to it, freedom isn't free--even when we'd really like it to be.