Memorial Day thoughts

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True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, butflag half-mast the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” Arthur Ashe

Today, amid the barbecueing, backyard ball games and a search for warmer climes, please take the time to remember those who have served to keep this country free. Felix Frankfurter said “We have enjoyed so much freedom for so long that we are perhaps in danger of forgetting how much blood it cost to establish the Bill of Rights.”

I have stood in cemeteries in France, where row upon endless row of white crosses mark the final resting spot of thousands of Americans who died serving others in the cause of liberty. One of those crosses is for my father’s uncle, who served in the US Army.  I – like many of you – have been to Arlington national cemetery where over 300,000 of our nation’s heroes are buried.

I come from a military family.  My grandfather worked in the shipyards in Honolulu in December 1941.  My grandmother remembers vividly hiding under the bed with her 9-day old baby (my dad), watching the smoke rise from the harbor and not seeing her husband for days as he worked around the clock in the harbor.  My father spent a year in Vietnam in the 60’s, flying for the US Air Force and returned home to a nation who jeered his service.  He also spent his professional career serving his country as an Air Force officer and I proudly claim the title “Air Force brat”.  My brother is a pilot today and was deployed to Iraq at the beginning of the current war.  All of them returned home alive – and all of them lost friends and colleagues who paid the ultimate price to preservecemetery liberty.

At this moment, families all over this nation have loved ones in harm’s way.  Just a few days ago, an airman stationed at Hill Air Force base lost his life in Afghanistan. As we celebrate the beginning of summer (in spite of the weather!), let’s be sure we remember those families who are NOT in danger of forgetting the cost of freedom…and from my family to theirs….”Thank you”.

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3 Responses to “Memorial Day thoughts”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Spot-on!
    And Thank you to you and your family for serving this great Nation.

  2. rmwarnick Says:

    Thanks for believing in our military, Holly.

    Too many Republicans seem to look down on members of our Armed Services, thinking of them not as professionals dedicated to keeping America safe but as disposable pawns to be sacrificed in unnecessary, unwinnable wars halfway around the world.

    When service members return from the wars and become veterans, too many Republicans are among first to call for cutting the Veterans Affairs budget.

  3. hollyonthehill Says:

    RM, you have my promise that I will never call for a cut in veteran’s benefits. In fact, I think the way we treat them is shameful, from decrepit VA hospitals to refusal to cover very necessary services. I believe wholeheartedly that supporting our military is a proper role of our government – and that includes after their term of service is up.

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