To all of you whose families, like mine, have had members who paid the ultimate price in defense of our nation and our collective freedoms, I wanted to take a moment to extend the gratitude of all of us here at Hot Air and the rest of the Townhall/Salem network. You are the ones who truly understand that today represents far more than simply a long weekend. There is little I can say that would add substantially to the tributes paid by so many others across the years. But as long as we maintain this tradition, those who take the oath and put on the uniform in the years to come will know that they do so for a cause that is far greater than any individual sacrifice that might be asked.
We currently live in a time when our nation’s longest-running war is drawing to a close. But at the same time, unrest in multiple spots around the globe threatens the prospects for peace and reminds us that the call may go out again at any moment. When it does, volunteers from across America will step forward and pledge to give the final measure if circumstances demand it. Though some seem to find this a trite thing to say, freedom is never free. Our nation emerged onto the world stage as the result of a war that few wanted, but could not be avoided. We later built international alliances that led us to take up arms repeatedly. Such is the nature of man, I suppose. But we remember the sacrifices that have been made and honor the memories of the fallen. To do otherwise would be dishonorable.
Please take a moment today to express your gratitude to those who are no longer here to join us. And as we so often do on Memorial Day, I’ll leave you with the classic work of John McCrea.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
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