Friday, May 26, 2006

Memorial Day--Remembering What We Fought For

In this day and age where Congress passes laws people don't want, where corruption reigns, where influence and manipulation triumph over openness and transparency, we celebrate and memorialize those brave men and women who fought for the common man. They fought against taxation without representation. They fought against an elite class forcing their will on the masses. They fought for freedom from oppression. They fought for a rule of law that applied to every man, equally. They fought for a sovereign, independant, unified nation without interference from others. Finally, they fought for other people to have the same thing. Many nations, not just America, owe thanks to the men and women who fought for an idea, a belief embodied in Thomas Jefferson's words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.-
Congress should be careful of their "abuses and usurpations". The President should be careful to avoid "a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism".

Throughout America's short history, her citizens in the form of the military, have fought over and over not as a tool to dominate her own people or others but to liberate. I am thankful for these people. Each day my family lives safely, protected, under a rule of law, yet free to speak, to dissent, free to congregate, free to bear arms, free to own my property, free to vote, free to enjoy a presumption of innocence. Free.

This freedom has been bought at a great price. Blood of many worthy and noble people spilled for this cause.

While our Senators and Representatives and the President pontificate on these themes this weekend, I hope they listen to their own words. They aren't empty and meaningless words. They are important words. But these words can be undone by evil actions. In fact, it is a lot easier to destroy freedom than to build and protect it.

Memorial Day comes at a perfect time, this year, to remember not just who fought for America but what they fought for. Remember.

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