This month we will also pay tribute to veterans on Memorial Day. We honor those soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who died for our country.We honor those who fought for us. Peace has meaning the protected will never know. Each soldier who falls is a great tragedy. Though each death is a tragedy we honor and thank each who served and gave the ultimate sacrifice.They gave us our freedom and it behooves each of us to be our best self out of respect for what they gave us.
We look to them for guidance—guidance for the present and guidance for the future. We shouldn’t look at the era in which they toiled and sacrificed as if we were visiting a museum or an archaeological site. We should look at what they did, and how they did it and, in doing so, honor them by imitating their courage and their sacrifice and their excellence. Their accomplishments are astonishing to us. And we should learn from them.
They have left a legacy of freedom, and they taught their children and their children’s children the value of sacrifice, and work, and virtue, the necessary conditions of freedom—and they taught us the love of country.
These soldiers have become our teachers, their presence here, and the words and deeds of their lives, remind us of human excellence, of the things for which we stand, of the courage that is necessary to maintain those things. They taught us what it means to be a citizen.
How is it possible for the City of West Park to honor such men, both the deceased and living?
Perhaps we cannot do any better than to call you the Greatest Generation of the greatest country in the world. Perhaps we should make certain that your stories are told to the young. Perhaps we should try to imitate both your purposes and lives, in both peace and war. Perhaps we should just sincerely thank you for making sure that this island of liberty would continue. Perhaps we should just say this, along with Abraham Lincoln: “Gold is good in its place; but living, brave, patriotic men, are better than gold.” Perhaps, we could support the VFW Post #8195 more and the wonderful works they are doing for veterans that do make it home.
As we remember these brave warriors and their comrades in arms on this Memorial Day, we must look to the future as well as the past. In today’s world, freedom comes
cloaked in uncertainty. America still relies on her sons and daughters to defend her liberty. The cost of independence remains high, but we are willing to pay it. We do not pay it gladly, but we pay it with deep reverence and thanks to those who have sacrificed their lives for America. We know that in the years to come, more brave souls will sacrifice their lives for America. We include them in our thoughts and prayers today and every day.
In conclusion, to the City of West Park’s honored deceased, we hold you in our highest esteem!
You are our heroes! We salute you! We honor you! We live our lives in freedom, because of what you gave us! There will never be a time that we do not give you our solemn honor! To this and every Memorial Day, we the residents of West Park must never forget the meaning of Memorial Day and remember those proud patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of liberty’s blessings! We are in your debt and we thank you! May God always bestow His blessings upon you!