sac·ri·fice: the destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else or something given up or lost (from the online Merriam-Webster dictionary)
This coming Monday our nation will celebrate Memorial Day, when we remember the sacrifices made by our armed forces in the name of freedom. Our town has a memorial service every year at our local cemetery. This is when we honor these fallen heroes, knowing that their legacy will live on in the freedoms of our children and our children’s children. It is more than just a day off for grilling and time with family, for the blessing to do that comes directly from those men and women who sacrificed their future for the sake of ours.
Our nation was founded by those who were willing to risk their lives not only for themselves and their children, but for the same thing these soldiers believed in – freedom. We built this nation on faith, hope, hard work and a giving spirit. We know that our future is dependent on divine Providence, the sweat of our brow and the extension of our hand to help those in need. These basic qualities are what make us different from other nations, and why America’s military is so special in what it does.
The delicate balance of faith, hard work, hope and charity are the very things that set us apart as Americans, and why I find it so sad that some of my fellow citizens feel that faith is no longer needed, hard work is no longer necessary, hope is foolish, and charity is best done by government mandate. This is not who we are, and it certainly is not what our soldiers died for. They believed in the liberty given to us by our Creator, and that it is protected under our Constitution. They are the armor for that shining city on a hill, and we must honor their memory by ensuring that the legacy we leave to our children is the same one for which they sacrificed themselves. The torch of liberty has been passed to us with their last breath; it is now our turn to hold the line.
Thank you, dear soldiers, for the ultimate gift you gave to us and our families.
We are able to rise only because you laid it down.
We will never forget.
“There’s only two people who’s ever died for me
Laid down their lives just so I could be free
They both went through hell, bared crosses and shells
And both got back up again after they fell
They never pick a fight but they’re there to pick up the pieces
God only knows where we’d be without soldiers and Jesus”
~ chorus from the song Soldiers & Jesus by James Otto