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Monday is Memorial Day. It is a day not just to remember the heroes of the past, but to look with awe on the path they followed. As we honor the heroes who have given their lives in service of our country, each of us looks at their gift to us in a different way.
As a veteran who served in peacetime, I am humbled.
Others, who never served, must have similar feelings of gratitude, knowing the untold valor that goes with the mere act of survival in wartime, and the price paid in blood so that we could have our way of life. Even those who believe that all war is wrong are held to account for that blood. It was given as a gift, not as a bargaining chip, but that lessens not the debt we owe to the giver.
The aged can look back on a long life of freedom, knowing that had those we remember today not been willing to give up their lives to protect it, the country in which they exercised those liberties could not have stood.
But it is the young who have the most to learn from Memorial Day. They can learn humility, duty, honor, courage, sacrifice, and gratitude. And they can know that as a nation we give praise to those who are willing to exercise those virtues. Perhaps by remembering the fallen of the past, those of us who will not be called upon for the ultimate sacrifice can ensure that the greater, higher and more noble path remains open for those who are inclined to take it.
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