Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Memorial Day 2011

Memorial Day: Remember to Remember

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and usually means a relaxing day off from work, maybe a trip to the Jersey Shore or hot dogs on the grill.

But in the midst of all the fun, please take some time to remember those who have served and sacrificed their lives to provide us with the freedoms and opportunities we so enjoy and to remember that freedom is not free.

Take pause this Memorial Day 2011 to remember the number: 1,344,000. That’s the number of American military members who have died in wars and skirmishes defending our way of life. War is a deadly business. This day is for those 1.3 million lives cut short, and their untold millions of dreams left forgotten and unfulfilled. Behind those lives lost are acts of heroism and sacrifice, known and unknown, on battlefields large and small, on very imaginable landscape in every corner of the globe. Their deeds and sense of duty helped save countless other lives and preserved our nation.

Our soldiers, our sailors, our airmen and our Marines . . . they take up arms to defend our freedoms. They protect us from tyrants and offer their lives in the name of liberty. For one day each year, we stop to remember those names on a wall that didn’t come home. Remember all those men and women who died defending our way of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Lee Greenwood’s lyrics say it best, “I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.”

Memorial Day 2011, let us give thanks for our freedom and remember those who made it possible.

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