It’s always appropriate to show honor and appreciation to members of the military, but I offer this reminder to my readers: we’re not celebrating Veteran’s Day, we’re celebrating Memorial Day. This is the day we remember the high cost of freedom.
Memorial Day 2023 is a time to come together in reverence to commemorate the Honored Dead. We commiserate with the Gold Star families, old and new, who have paid the ultimate price to ensure that liberty in America endures.
As Americans, it’s important to acknowledge the high cost of freedom and the sacrifices made by the men and women in uniform who died to defend liberty. Civil society only survives in a world of violence and tyranny when there are those willing to do violence on our behalf.
In his 1982 Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery, President Ronald Reagan reminded us that the cost of freedom is high and cannot be bought cheaply:
“Yet, we must try to honor them — not for their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice.
“Our first obligation to them and ourselves is plain enough: The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we — in a less final, less heroic way — be willing to give of ourselves.
“As we honor their memory today, let us pledge that their lives, their sacrifices, their valor shall be justified and remembered for as long as God gives life to this nation. And let us also pledge to do our utmost to carry out what must have been their wish: that no other generation of young men will every have to share their experiences and repeat their sacrifice.”
Scripture tells us in John 15:13 (New Living Translation): “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Perhaps we have no better picture outside of Jesus’ death on the cross of what this kind of love looks like than the picture given us by those whose lives we remember today.
As is the case every year, Memorial Day is considered the official kick-off of summer. But before you fire up the grill for your first summer cookout, I hope you’ll take a moment to remember those who paid the ultimate price to protect and defend liberty and freedom.
Remember . . . the cost of freedom is always high.
“Day is done, Gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hill,
From the sky.
All is well, Safely rest,
God is nigh.”
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.
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