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Remember the sacrifices

Throughout the nation’s history, millions have died protecting the freedom American citizens enjoy in the relative peace the rest of the world only dreams about.

Think about that today as you light up the grill, spend time with family and friends or just hang out in your backyard.

Today’s commemoration is one of freedom and peace, but it is based on the ultimate sacrifice of war, the sacrifice to a cause greater than self.

Today, as we mark Memorial Day, we should be solemn. We should understand that those we recognize are those who sacrificed their lives for us, from the Revolution to today’s troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Today is a day not to complain, not to worry about that which divides us as Americans. We are not Democrat or Republican. We are not conservative or liberal. We are Americans today, unified and thankful.

It will be a day unlike any Memorial Day any of us can remember. There will be no parades, no breakfasts or lunches at which we can gather to remember. But while the concerns that are associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have led to the extreme modification or outright cancellation of the traditional Memorial Day remembrances, today offers a chance to take just and a moment and remember.

As a nation, we bicker over the national debt as an unpayable cost. The art of statesmanship has been forgotten — we look for answers that favor one side or another, one political view or another, forgetting that the best government is one of compromise, where many differing thoughts are brought to the table, and a consensus is reached that might not sit well with one side or the other but will benefit all.

For no matter what our differences, it must never be forgotten that the freedom to hold that debate is the result of the sacrifice of life in the cause of the nation, to preserve the United States of America.

We owe it to those who died on the field of battle to think about that today.

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