President Harry Truman famously stated, “Some things have not changed at all since 1776. For one thing, freedom is still expensive. It still costs money. It still costs blood. It still calls for courage and endurance, not only in soldiers, but in every man and woman who is free and who is determined to remain free.”
This Memorial Day let us pay tribute to those who have given up their lives at the altar of freedom. From Valley Forge to the mountains of Afghanistan our brave military heroes have all answered the call to battle with courage and a love of country. Their graves serve as a solemn reminder of the true price to freedom’s cause.
This altar of freedom is truly holy ground. Their resting places are a memorial that symbolizes the blood, sweat, and tears of millions of brave men and women along with their families, who gave so much for America all in the name of liberty.
Today, I think of the words of Stephen Spender’s poem that reads: “You are men who in your “lives fought for life . . . and left the vivid air signed with your honor.”
Our military heroes had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on whatever battlefield they served. It was this deep knowledge — and their belief in God that made a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. Our heroes went to war to liberate, not to conquer, and to free people and not to enslave them and the world has become a better place because of them.
Since our birth as a nation, we have come to know that some things are worth dying for. One’s country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by God. All of our military heroes who gave their lives all loved liberty. All of them were willing to fight tyranny even if it meant paying the ultimate price.
America has learned bitter lessons from all of our wars. We have learned that we must always seek and embrace peace; but we must always be prepared to defend liberty.
Therefore, this Memorial Day let us renew our commitment to those who gave up their lives for our country’s freedom, and for the cause of peace around the world and let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Let our actions say to them the words for which we find given to us by Almighty God: “I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.”
Fortified by their example, strengthened by their courage, inspired by their valor, and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.
Like our heroes, let us always be steadfast, and watchful and constantly reminded that freedom isn’t free, rather let us never forget the words of Ronald Reagan who once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. 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.”
May God bless the families of those who gave all they had for the cause of liberty in America and throughout the world and may God bless the United States of America!
Raul Torres is a CPA and former State Representative. For more information or to schedule a speaking engagement call his office at (361) 854-0822 or (361) 549-8957.