A Reminder of Service and Sacrifice
Washington, D.C. – As we reflect this Memorial Day, I encourage you to consider the words of Pierre Claeyssens, a stalwart supporter of the American military, who said, “To be killed in war is not the worst that can happen. To be lost is not the worst. To be forgotten is the worst.”
While many of us will use this weekend to take trips with our families or grill out with neighbors, first and foremost this is a holiday dedicated to honoring the men and women who so bravely served our great Nation and never made it home.
Today, and every day, it is important that we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. We cannot forget that each life lost on the battlefield was lost in service to something greater – to preserve and protect the freedoms we hold dear. Each man and woman who has served did so with courage, knowing full well that they may never see their loved ones again, because they heard the calling and followed it. They knew that not only their sphere of influence, but the friends and families of every citizen, deserved their protection and sacrifice.
If we ask ourselves what makes the United States of America the greatest country in the world, that greatness is demonstrated by the patriots who were willing to stand their ground and fight for each of us during perilous times – and most especially by those who were willing to pay the ultimate price. A humble reminder: freedom is never free.
President George W. Bush said it well back in 2003, “Their sacrifice was great, but not in vain. All Americans and every free Nation on earth can trace their liberty to the white markers of places like Arlington National Cemetery. And may God keep us ever grateful.”
We must honor our country’s commitment that these men and women will never be forgotten. I ask you all not only to remember those who died serving our country this Memorial Day; I ask you to remember their families and loved ones who have lost what we can never replace.
In order to be worthy of the service and sacrifice of these patriots, we have a duty to remember them not just today, but each and every day. If I know one thing to be true, it is this: we are the land of the free because of the brave.
Published in the Walton Tribune on Saturday, May 25, 2019.
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