Memorial Day is the day to reflect on the men and women, of our armed forces, who have paid the ultimate price defending our freedom. We gather today to honor them. Our nation, it’s people, it’s values have always produced the finest group of young men and women from each generation of Americans, willing to put their lives in harms way, to answer the call, to defend our freedom, our Constitution, our way of life, our country. Showing our appreciation, our support, our prayers, that we do at these gatherings, allows us to express the special place our service members hold in our hearts.
Each time they march off to defend our nation, it can be said again as Winston Churchill said “that never have so many owed so much to so few”. We can never over do our praise for what they have done, nor what we as a nation owe to them. That is why this special day is set aside to honor them.
I remember a story told of the Marines who first entered Bagdad in 2003. The Vance (Marine for point of the spear) was caught in a cross fire by Iraqi Republican Guard infantry. As the fierce fighting raged, and where the cross fire merged, a navy corpsman was video tapped by an embedded news team, racing into the center where bullets were ricocheting off the road to carry two wounded Marines to safety. He returned a third time aiding another victim. After stopping the bleeding, he pick him up and began racing back to safety and the medivac helicopter, when a member of the news team filming what was happing, shouted, “why did you do that, he is an Iraqi soldier.” The Navy medic shouted back, “He was wounded, that is what Marines do, that is what Americans do!”.
This is why we gather at airports to welcome them home and line the our streets in silent prayer as a fallen soldier ‘s body returns home for burial. President John F. Kennedy said it best in his first and sadly his only Inaugural Address, “ Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty.” President Kennedy was a World War II veteran.
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