We are pleased to present the sixth and final installment of our weeklong tribute to the men and women who proudly serve this country. Our Memorial Day reflection comes to us from Representative Brad Jones:
Today, we gather first and foremost as Americans to honor those that have paid the steepest of prices for our freedoms on battlefields around the globe and here at home.
We come together with an abiding belief that that which binds us together is so much greater and more important than that which divides us. We assemble as friends, neighbors, family and fellow citizens – today we have much in common.
Memorial Day is a chance for Americans to celebrate in quiet solemnity those lives lost; but we also gather at various ceremonies to honor those who have paid the ultimate price since our nation’s birth more than two centuries ago.
Each of us knows that our community, our Commonwealth, and our country face difficult and important challenges. Let each of us draw inspiration and strength from the sacrifices of the fallen heroes we honor today. Abraham Lincoln said it best at Gettysburg “…It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain…”
Remembering those who have died for our freedom is not a passing commitment -- not a trendy undertaking, not a temporary fad; rather, it is a moral obligation of the highest magnitude for each and every one of us. It is an obligation that binds us and future generations as long as the Star Spangled Banner flies over our great nation. It is an obligation that must endure if we are to continue to enjoy the freedoms that will forever be the promise of the United States of America to not only its citizens, but people around the globe.
While all gave some - today we honor the some who gave all. Our human nature too often causes us to dwell on what is wrong. Our fallen heroes inspire us to find what is right about America, and to celebrate what is right about America.
Let us all remember tonight as we check the evening news that without the most powerful, dedicated and bravest military in the world, the freedoms that we love and cherish may be just be a distant dream, not a reality.
As we remember this day in history, let us rededicate ourselves to the notion that the price of freedom is not free, but is a precious commodity paid for a thousand times over by the men and women serving our country.
May God Bless and keep our fallen heroes. May God bless our service men and women. May he keep safe the children who are the future of this country. God Bless the United States of America.