I'm not telling you to not have fun this Memorial Day.
I'm telling you to honor the men and women who died so you could have fun.
I'm telling you, with every generation, I think we are more forgetful of the sacrifices made on our behalf. We are so caught up in our own drama and stress we lose sight of all our blessings. This sounds cliche on a day like this but only because of how true it rings...freedom is NOT free. Someone had to pay the price.
18-year-old boys who would rather be throwing baseballs threw grenades thousands of miles from home, for you. Boys who had a sweetheart back home, a father, a mother, a dream job, a lovely small town or neighborhood they loved...bled to death on foreign soil, in below freezing cold and excruciating heat...for you. And not just in the Civil War or World War II or Vietnam, but news flash, they are still out there today. There are men still fighting for our freedoms. We can not forget that.
You say it's hard to be thankful for that because you don't actually know those guys; to you, they're numbers or statistics. I say, that's a crock. If you want to know their stories, read the books. "Flags of Our Fathers". "With the Old Breed". "The Greatest Generation", to scratch the surface. There are veterans all throughout your community. If you see one today, or any day for that matter, thank them. It's not that hard. Just, say thank you.
Most of all, remember this is not something you have to do. It is something you ought to do.
And if you have a loved one in the military, I am saying a prayer for you right now. That your loved one will come home to you safe and sound, and that he will find peace of mind and endurance of heart tonight.
Fellow Americans, we can be the generation that takes this seriously again. We must never, ever forget.
The day that a nation neglects to honor and remember the cost of their freedoms and blessings, I believe, is the day those freedoms and blessings become a thing of the past.