“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction,” the 40th U.S. President said. “We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
Quoting Reagan is a good way to earn scorn and derision from those on the left wing, but Reagan’s observation about freedom is a little hard to debunk.
Saturday’s nationwide observance was another in a series begun in 1992 to stress “the importance of remembering our fallen heroes, honoring those who serve, and teaching our children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families to preserve our freedoms,” according to wreathsacrossamerica.org.
Thankfully, that mission has taken a higher-priority position in recent years. Sadly, it took an attack of the magnitude of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to stimulate that attitude.
All my life, I have been mystified by the naiveté of those who seem to believe that no harm will come to those who merely go about living peaceful lives. History teaches us the precise opposite of that notion.
Predatory, evil characters are hardly few and far between, and they don’t cease and desist when someone politely points out the flaws in their character – or, more importantly, when someone goes to extreme lengths to accommodate their unacceptable actions.
No one knows the horror of war more intimately than those who have participated in it. There is no one with a more staunch anti-war attitude than a veteran of combat.
But the veteran also understands the disconnect between idealistic thinking and hard reality.
Despite high-profile protests which vilified those who were willing to serve their country, we have passed along an understanding of the value of our freedom and the high price it exacts.
During Saturday’s ceremony, the passing of a veteran, Marshall County resident Daniel Graham, a Vietnam veteran, was noted. Graham died after a battle with cancer. His son, Kevin, is memorialized on the Veterans Plaza Wall of Honor, a combat casualty of the war on terror in Afghanistan.
Father and son were typical of hundreds of thousands of Americans who understood the fragility of freedom Ronald Reagan described, and were willing to serve. Recognizing and memorializing them is the least we all can do.