2017-05-28 / Editorial

Freedoms we enjoy did not come cheaply

From the earliest days of America’s founding, our great nation has been blessed with generation after generation of patriots willing to lay down their lives in defense of our freedom and way of life.

This Memorial Day, we pay tribute to the heroic patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice — those who bravely rose up and fought for something greater than themselves, protecting a home to which they never returned. We honor their service, mourn their loss and remember the families they left behind.

Whether you attend a Memorial Day parade on Monday in Dryden, Imlay City, Lapeer, North Branch or Otter Lake or local cemetery programs, we hope you and your family will take an hour to honor the real meaning of the holiday.

The significance of this day is sometimes confused or distorted. The true meaning of Memorial Day becomes at times, distant or vague, lost to commercialism, or drowned in forgetful indulgence. Sometimes, there is a failure to recognize the magnitude of the deeds of the men and women who held true to the notion that evil and tyranny must not prevail.

It is our sacred duty to keep the legacy of our nation’s patriots forever fresh in the memories of future generations. We are bound by honor to do so. They fought and died to preserve this land of hopes and dreams.

Without the courage, valor and singleness of purpose of our nation’s veterans, the values that have always made it possible for us to meet new challenges, and move forward as a nation, would have been lost.

The freedoms that so many Americans enjoy did not come cheaply. They were paid for with the flesh and blood of American servicemen and women, and with the tears of those whose lives were changed forever by the loss of a loved one.

This sacred day provides an opportunity for all of America to reflect on all we are blessed with. Sadly, the true meaning of this day is often overlooked by mainstream America. To many, Memorial Day represents a day away from work, the unofficial start of summer, or the opportunity to take advantage of a Memorial Day sale.

The freedoms that we enjoy today have been paid for at the expense of the lives of Lapeer County service members, and with the tears of those whose lives were forever changed by the loss of a loved one.

We are a nation whose freedom has been guaranteed by our veterans, and we must rededicate ourselves to honoring the legacy of our nation’s fallen by educating all who believe Memorial Day is just another holiday. We must ensure that the youth of tomorrow understands the true cost of freedom and that there is no greater way to honor the memory of those who have secured it.

Even after Memorial Day passes we will undoubtedly continue to bear the burden of loss that comes with losing a family member, friend, one of our brothers or sisters in arms … but we must take solace in knowing these lives were not lost in vain, and remain forever grateful for their having gifted us the greatest gift on earth … freedom.

Memorial Day is a day of opportunity to give thanks for all that we are blessed with. It should also be a day that we rededicate ourselves to our country and to Lapeer County’s living veterans and their families in memory of the sacrifices they and others have made.

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