Thursday, November 10, 2011
In the quiet of the morning, the wind gently moves among the silent white crosses. The simple memorials stand in stark contrast to the manicured grass of the grounds. In the silence, there is peace.
For those that are memorialized by these crosses, the peaceful setting belies the the struggle and sacrifice of those that are buried in this hallowed ground. Each of these souls has given their all for the freedoms that we enjoy. Some that are buried here have spent their final moments in the chaos, sweat, and blood of defending our freedoms that under gird our great nation.
Freedom, liberty, peace. These are lofty ideals and empty words without the substance to back them up. Across the world, there are people that talk about these concepts, that yearn for freedom, and yet they never truly experience what we enjoy in this great nation. These concepts are nothing more that that- concepts- without the men and women who sacrifice to make them real.
Each of us enjoy freedom, liberty, and peace because throughout our history even to today men and women have stood against those that would take them away. They have sacrificed time away from loved ones; they have suffered privation and hardships; and some have made the ultimate sacrifice for each of us.
Those quiet, simple crosses stand as a testimony to that sacrifice.
Today, each of us will rise up and go about our daily activities in an environment of freedom and peace. Our liberties stand as a beacon of hope to the world. We have made this day a day of honor for our veterans, living and dead, for their service and their sacrifice. We can do so because of them.
The truth is that this day is not enough. "Thank you" fails to truly signify our gratitude for what our veterans have done for us. Yet we pause to honor and thank our veterans, living and dead, for their service and for their sacrifice.
It is the least we can do.
To all that have served, both living and dead, and are serving today, we honor you. Thank you for all that you have done are are doing to keep us free, to preserve our liberties, and to allow us to live in peace. Our gratitude is heartfelt. As a people, we stand on your shoulders.
This day will pass, and the tributes to veterans will quickly fade into memories.
To those that have served and are serving, know this: we will never forget you. We will never take for granted what you have done for us and are continuing to do even to this day.
The quiet, simple crosses demand that we remember and that we honor you.