On the Shoulders of Giants – Memorial Day 2010

Date 2010/5/30 20:10:00 | Topic: The Editor's Column

In this country, we stand on the shoulders of giants. All of our progress, and all of our accomplishments as a society, and all of our economic power are dependent on the peace and freedom that have been hard-won by generations of American heroes. A hero is someone who puts aside their own self-interest, even to the point of their own life, to protect another. America simply would not exist if it were not for heroes.

We live and prosper in a free country only because our liberty is continually defended. As our constitution confirms, we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is not because of where we are born, or who our parents are, or what government we have; it is the natural state of mankind to have free will.

But each generation is challenged by forces that for reasons of power, profit, or ideology, seek to enslave their fellow mankind. We have over the years of our Republic developed many ways to keep these threats to freedom at bay, and make progress towards ensuring freedom’s perpetual foot-hold on our land.

And what it all comes back to is the American armed forces, whose willingness to defend the people and ideals of our nation against foreign threats, comes even at the risk of their own survival. Throughout our history, American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines have bravely faced battle many times, and in many places. Not every conflict in our history has been a clear victory. And Americans have sometimes doubted whether a given war is just or advisable. But, let us never doubt that the world is watching, and knows that our military is willing and able to take on whatever mission that our civilian leaders in Congress and the White House direct.

It is incumbent on us as Americans to live our lives in a way that honors the sacrifices of our lost troops. With liberty comes responsibility; and each of us has a responsibility to do our part to continue work that started 234 years ago when our forefathers staked their lives and their fortunes on a strongly-worded letter to a tyrant.

We stand today in remembrance of those who have sacrificed their very lives to ensure that our liberty and prosperity continue. We stand and say to them “We are grateful. We will never forget, and we will continue.”

We are not all called to the military service of our nation. And of those who are, not all will serve in war. And of those who do, very few become the heroes that we honor here today.

What we can do, and must do is to serve our country in whatever ways that we can. We must vote and pay our taxes, and serve on juries. But we can also speak out when we see injustice. We can exercise our rights to ensure our freedom, even when doing so is unpopular. We can volunteer in the schools and in the community. We can innovate and invest. We can protest our government when we think it is wrong, and we can show our gratitude when we think it is right. Our liberty is most certainly not yet perfected, but we must always strive to reach that point.

Whatever we do, we should always remember that we have it pretty good here because we are carried on the shoulders of the giants in our history who have given all so that we can live free and choose our own way. Let us all remember that flag-waving and blustery speech are no substitute for the true deeds of patriotism that make this country great.
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This article comes from The Lewisville Texan Journal
http://archive.lewisvilletexan.org/xoops

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