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Memorial Day
Written Sunday 05/29/05 by Joseph Rossini

When you are growing up, Memorial Day is associated with a great barbeque and the official start of the summer season down the shore. Since this special day was changed to always fall on a Monday to create a long weekend, it lost the true significance of why we even celebrate it. I’m sure that if Jay Leno did a “Jaywalker” routine, where he polls people on the street asking them simple questions about American life – many of those he might poll wouldn’t have the slightest idea about the meaning of Memorial Day. That’s not only unfortunate, but also very sad. Because Memorial Day is one day we should all be thankful for the brave individuals of our military, both past and present.

As you get older, become a parent, and become wiser, you begin to appreciate the meaning and significance of many parts of life. You might study history with more interest and passion, in search for true significance regarding our country and the world at large. Thus, in celebration of Memorial Day this weekend, I thought it would be an honor to write about the brave men and women in uniform who have paid the ultimate price for all the freedoms we may take for granted in America.

As the saying goes, “nothing good comes easy.” That surely applies to the ongoing struggle to preserve a unique blend of freedom that Americans have struggled for and work hard to maintain. It’s easy to criticize the leaders of our government and military for any and every mistake that is made on a daily basis. Yet many of the same people who are quick to criticize others, usually have a laundry list of shortcomings of their own that they struggle with daily. However, on this special holiday, it would be great if we could reflect back on over two centuries of conflicts that took place; and the millions of lives that were cut short – in an effort to create and preserve the unprecedented freedoms that we enjoy.

Yesterday, I was watching the graduation of West Point graduates on TV. Several of the graduates were interviewed about their decision to stay the course at West Point, knowing that they will probably be deployed into combat during their five year commitment to serve. The positive attitude and passion of these graduates to defend our freedom can send chills of pride down your spine. We are truly blessed today, to have brave officers and recruits who are willing to join the military to make America safer as they defend our freedom. Many of the individuals in the military are serving with pride, because their parents and grandparents did the same. They are part of a multi-generation of brave individuals, who are willing to put themselves in harms way – to make America safe and free. How lucky are we as citizens, to have individuals who want to protect us?

The history of human beings has unfortunately been tarnished with struggles of power and greed. Throughout history, the rulers had little interest in the rights of citizens. Yet from the citizens point of view, they would do anything, including dying – to advance their cause of freedom. Throughout our short history in America, the brave members of our military have helped freedom to spread around the world. Many lives of our brave military were lost in the process. However this brave group of individuals is THE REASON that we have been able to preserve our own freedom at home.

Along with these brave members of the military that paid the ultimate price for freedom, we should also be recognizing their families during Memorial Day. The hardships caused to the spouses, children, parents, brothers and sisters of the fallen, are enormous. These families should be recognized for their own bravery, as they have to reconstruct their lives and put their shredded pieces back together again. This has to be one of the most difficult challenges they will ever face in life.

Americans have so much to be thankful for, regarding our military members of the past and present. One way to show our thanks and appreciation is to honor all members of our military with the same passion and recognition we adorn to winners of Reality TV Shows or the American Idol Show. Our military members are TRUELY AMERICAN IDOLS to every citizen who enjoys freedom and rights in America. We should do everything in our power to show them and their families how much we appreciate their sacrifices. They are the true STARS that enable us to live in a free society. Why not take every opportunity possible, to display your support for this brave group both financially, through thank you e-mails or anyway that will make them feel good and stand out as SPECIAL CITIZENS of our great nation.

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