Happy Memorial Day

May 25, 2009


It’s Memorial Day today. Be sure to take (at least) a moment to remember the sacrifices others paid for our liberty. As the Team America song went: “Freedom isn’t free”. But do not let the song fool you. It cost considerably more than “a buck o five”, though. It costs a copious amount of blood, sweat, tears, limbs, eyes, lungs, hearts, livers, kidneys, brains, bowels, steel, lead, fossil fuels, time, and vigilance (and I am sure I am missing something).

I had at least 3 grand-relations serve in WWII, at least one of which did not get to come back. I have at least 3 cousins that have served in various capacities (one of which is currently teaching nuclear reactor operation for the Navy). I have another cousin raising her child at home while her husband serves as an armor division officer in Iraq. That’s time they could have spent being with their families and other “normal” things can never get back.

And that is just the sacrifices my extended family has made that I know of. I am sure there is more. I got at least 2 friends serving right now (both in Army Intelligence, I think; I have not heard from one of them since he went into Basic Training, but Army Intelligence was his intention).

And even that does not accurately reflect the true cost of freedom. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers (and the various domestic versions of them: police, firemen, EMTs, FBI, CIA, et cetera) have spilt their lifeblood for it; countless more maimed, which is arguably a greater price.

Freedom is costly. Do not try to cheapen it by dismissing the sacrifices they have given though derision, insults, apathy, or dismantling the uniquely American institutions of liberty they have fought to protect. Or using a day set aside to specifically remember their sacrifices just as an excuse to get wasted. Take the time to acknowledge the price paid so that you can have that stereotypical cookout without fear of Lobsterback taxation, Soviet-style food lines, or a number of other ills that would have befallen us if nobody stepped up to pay.

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