Many serious problems face our nation on this Memorial Day 2011; not just economic woes like high unemployment, stagnation and perilous fiscal waters, but also relentless tornadoes, rains, winds and floods. The damage these cruelties of nature have done to homes, businesses and farmland is heartbreaking and sobering.
But in the midst of all of our difficulties, let us never forget our tremendous resilience as a people; our strength, boundless opportunities, and vast potential. Most importantly, let us remember that one vital component makes it all possible: our freedom. Freedom to be entrepreneurial, to learn, invent, build, worship, express ourselves, collaborate and be productive -- in short, to live up to our God-given potential. Contingent upon recognizing freedom's crucial role is appreciating the high price paid for that freedom since our nation was founded 235 years ago. Also, to realize that our freedom is, in the history of the world, something of a rare entity. Totalitariansim, oppression and aristocracies have been far more commonplace through the ages.
Hundreds of thousands of brave men and women in our armed forces have made the ultimate sacrifice so that you and I could remain free. As I type and as you read, others are on duty now in godforsaken outposts of Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea and elsewhere.
As my esteemed co-blogger stated the other day, the World War II generation is fast dying out, and it is essential that we never forget their tremendous constributions to making the world a better place. I am pleased to report that when K.N. and I worked for the Michigan House of Representatives, our office organized a ceremony honoring World War II veterans at the Capitol Building, on June 6, 2004, the 60th anniversary of D-Day. The attendance was excellent, and the vets really appreciated it.
Aside from veterans who've laid down their lives, there are many thousands of vets whose lives have been shattered by debilitating injuries and/or psychological trauma. If you're a believer, keep them in your prayers.
On this Memorial Day, let us at least take a few moments to contemplate the suffering and sacrifice so many have endured for our freedom, and resolve not to squander our hard-won liberty and opportunity.