Memorial DayMany of you, in addition to reading this blog, will enjoy picnics and barbecues and parties of all sorts with family and friends today. As you do so, there are some important things you ought to remember.
I write this weblog nearly every day, and I write about political topics of local, state, and national interest, as well as about my faith. We live in a country where I am free to write things that are often critical of government officials and candidates for public office. You are free to read those things and publicly comment on them. There are many nations in the world where people are not free to write as I have written, and where readers are not free to read such writing and comment on it. In nations such as Iran and Red China, there is no free press, and what internet access the people have is severely limited since the government wants to filter out anything that is critical. People in North Korea don't even see press from the outside world-huge satellite blockers can be found near the DMZ to filter out any media unapproved by the state.
As flawed as our local election system is in Tennessee, we enjoyed a free and fair Primary in May, we will likely participate in a similar State exercise in August, along with local elections. We will have a national General Election in November where we will elect members of the next Congress. I'd be willing to guess that if anyone questions the legitimacy of any of the upcoming votes, there will not be riots in the streets or threats of a coup d'etat. Instead, any such disputes will be settled according to the rule of law.
Republican Clubs, Democrat Clubs, Conservative Unions, Common Cause-all of these kinds of groups and many others can hold public meetings and attempt to change the system of things. None of them need government approval to try and change the face of government.
As often as I write of faith, in many countries, uttering the Holy Name, or worshiping God in public can make you a criminal, unless the state approves of your religion. Yet I can speak the Name, and praise the Name, and no one will haul me away to prison-although certain people do not like the Name on public property.
For all of these advantages, I owe a thank you to people like my Dad who were willing to put on the uniform of their country, and to his Dad who served in the Ardennes. We all owe a thank you to the men and women who gave their lives so that we might live in a country where we could be free to be good citizens, and who are putting their lives on the line as I write this. We would also do well to remind ourselves that freedom is not free, and to truly be the best of citizens, we must all be willing to lay down our lives to protect the freedom of others.
We owe remembrance to the men and women who have paid the ultimate price and made the ultimate sacrifice from the War of Independence up to the present hour in the name of their God and for the freedom of their country. So when you eat that burger and that hot dog today, remember the people who made doing so without fear a possibility.
"From the rising until the setting of the sun, we will remember them."