LOS ANGELES, May 28, 2012 — It was Billy Ray Cyrus who sang that while all gave some, “some gave all.” Today is the day where we keep in our hearts those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
On this Memorial Day, some people will be focused on hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill. Others will be at the mall looking for bargains. This does not make any of these people bad people. Yet for just a moment, put down the ketchup bottle or the new dress. Understand that this is not just a day off from school or work.
Americans gave their lives so all of us can be free.
Look at the world today, and then think about how precious is the gift of freedom.
In Syria, Bashar Assad is shooting his citizens in the street. By American standards, the citizens have committed no crimes. They just expressed disagreement with their government in a peaceful manner. This is punishable by violent death in Syria.
Look at Iran. 70% of the people are under the age of 30. They want to be free. The Mullahs ruling them would rather crack down and suppress them.
Now look at America. We have our disagreements, but in most cases we resolve them peacefully.
In America, people argue over whether gay people should be allowed to marry. In Libya they shoot gays.
In America, people debate whether taxpayers should fund contraception for young law students. In Saudi Arabia, women are beaten in the streets for driving a car or being outside without a man.
In America, we have the rule of law. We have a system of justice that while imperfect, usually gets it right. Convictions require evidence. In some nations, a woman accused of adultery can be stoned to death. To say she has an unfair burden of proof would be an understatement.
In other nations, the military turns fire on its own citizens. In America, the military protects its people honorably from outside threats. The Commander in Chief is a civilian, an ordinary American. That civilian answers to 300 million other Americans.
Alex De Tocqueville was a Frenchman who recognized the unique structure of America. He said that “America is great because America is good.” A major part of that goodness comes from our military. The main reason for this is that our military is different from virtually every major military in world history.
Military service in America is voluntary. There has not been a draft in decades. Young people volunteer to serve this nation knowing that at any moment they could be put in harm’s way.
One that comes to mind is former football star Pat Tillman. Mr. Tillman gave up a multi-million dollar NFL salary after 9/11to earn $18,000 per year as an Army Ranger. He lost his life in a tragic friendly-fire accident. Yet outside of his being famous, he was no different from any other fallen soldier. He gave his life for a cause he deeply believed in. He defended his fellow Americans. He gave his life for freedom.
Freedom is not free, and it is not a cliche. It is the very heart of what separates America and civilization from the barbarism engulfing other parts of the world.
Freedom is a gift from God, but it must be defended by ordinary people willing to make extraordinary sacrifices.
America is blessed to have the very best of humanity risk it all so that we can live our lives.
So pick the ketchup bottle back up and enjoy that hot dog. Take that dress, pay for it, and bring it home.
Then when a few moments allow for it, look down at the Earth. Many honorable soldiers are buried there. Then look up to the sky. That is where their souls reside now.
This is not about politics. This is not about being pro-war or anti-war (although very few people are actually pro-war). This is not about being an interventionist or a non-interventionist. This is not about policy, tactics, or strategy.
This is about those who did their jobs for the noblest of reasons, and did not return to bask in the glow of that deserved parade that veterans receive.
So to the military families everywhere who lost their loved ones, thank you so much and deep condolences. Your loved ones did not die in vain. They protected American freedom, and we are forever in their debt.
May Americans everywhere have a peaceful Memorial Day. May all of us do whatever it takes to keep America free.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian.
Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.” Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. After years of dating liberals, he has finally seen the light and now only dates Republican Jewish women. His family is pleased over this. Republican, Jewish women, you may contact Eric above.
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Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog.
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