Plenty of people are grumping loudly and even protesting violently about the problems we face in the United States. There certainly are some significant issues that we need to address—with care and haste.
Yet, as Memorial Day comes upon us, I would ask everyone to remember that in the United States, we have the freedom to dispute this country’s wrongs because of the life’s blood of certain people. We are free to have bipartisan disagreements, we can vote in different parties, and we can keep the details of our personal politics and voting behavior to ourselves—or share them freely. We can disagree about
emigration, immigration, and migration. We can fight through our votes for fair policies that demonstrate justice, and we can argue publicly and vociferously about how to pay for them.
We have these freedoms because of the sacrifices of military men and women who have fought in skirmishes, battles, and full-on wars on our behalf. While some of these brave people volunteered for this bloody and under-appreciated work, many others were drafted into service and spit upon by fellow citizens who had no idea what they had suffered in the name of the United States and its unique freedoms.
Memorial Day honors all those who have given their lives in the service of the United States. Whether their efforts were understood as courageous sacrifice or vilified as murder, the vast majority of this country’s deceased military did their best to be honorable under morally challenging circumstances and brave in terrifying environments that no childhood had prepared them for. We owe them our very
freedom. At a minimum, we can give them our appreciation.
This Memorial Day, I ask you to remember that we have the freedom to be miserable, joyful, judgmental, and generous because of the sacrifices that our military men and women have made. Please join me is saying a blessing and extending gratitude to them and to their families who grieve their sons, daughters, spouses, parents, siblings, and friends.