Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day - Love And Devotion

Today is Memorial Day.

For most of us, the long weekend with the family, the unofficial start to summer, maybe a church picnic or a parade, the backyard barbecue and the roadtrip are what Memorial Day is all about.

I think there's a kind of instinctive wisdom in that, believe or not.

When you read or hear about what America's warriors have endured you have to stop and think about what makes a free young man or woman in the prime of youth go in harm's way and lay down his life for his country. I don't think the reason is a lot of high sounding slogans or platitudes.

The Americans we celebrate today gave their lives - what President Lincoln aptly referred to at Gettysburg as `the last full measure of devotion'- to keep the country free, to protect and preserve the people and the nation they left behind.

They made that ultimate sacrifice so that the ones they left behind could be free to enjoy a backyard barbecue, a day with the family..or, to put it another way, ordinary day to day life in a free country. They voted with their lives, not for some utopia but to preserve the decent, everyday American life,liberty and pursuit of happiness they left behind. For others,perhaps if not for themselves. All of them wanted to live that way, but they were willing to die if necessary so that the rest of us could do so.

That was their gift to us.

Cherish it, and be appropriately grateful.

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