May 27, 2001
Tomorrow is the day set aside by government edict to honor the brave men and women of the U.S. military who lost their lives in war. Thank God for them.
Sadly, in recent years, Memorial Day has been less a day for remembering than a day for doing and anticipating shopping, picnics, thinking ahead to the various pleasures of summer.
In the middle of the fun, it would be good to remember that the sacrifices of others made it all possible. It would be good to take at least a few minutes to reflect especially on those who faced enemies in war and lost their lives in the service of this country.
To forget the purpose of this day would be the sort of gross ingratitude that belittles both them and us. A failure to remember breeds false notions about the present and future, the sense that blessed things in our society just happened of their own and require nothing of us. That is seldom the case.
Americans are what they are because of earlier Americans, people who aspired greatly, who clung to their ideals, worked hard and sometimes suffered and died on our behalf. We can and should embrace the good life they helped make possible for us, but not as if it arrived without price or as if there will not be prices to pay to help assure the good life for those who follow.