This Monday, as on every Memorial Day, we’ll gather to pay tribute to those who gave their lives in defense of our country.
We’ll remember the names and deeds of our fallen, who died to protect our democratic system and the liberties we hold dear. We’ll pay tribute to the fallen with parades, music, speeches, wreaths, flags and prayers.
But it is worth noting that the fallen continue to serve us.
From the 49 patriots who sacrificed their lives at the battles of Lexington and Concord 241 years ago to the 39 modern-day warriors killed in Afghanistan and Iraq since last Memorial Day — their service continues in a very real and concrete way, long after the last note of taps is played.
Their heroism and sacrifice, for starters, brings us together and unites the nation on Memorial Day, a day when we get together with our neighbors and friends. Their service gives us a reason to set aside all that divides us and come together to live out one of our nation’s mottos: e pluribus unum — Latin for “from many, one.”
The heroes we honor each Memorial Day also continue to serve by connecting us to our past. At commemorations throughout communities across the nation, children born in the 21st century have an opportunity to see and meet the Americans who saved the 20th century from the freedom-crushing ideologies of communism, Nazism, fascism and imperialism.
With so many voices telling us what is wrong with America, on Memorial Day our fallen heroes tell us of what’s right with America. They remind us that the United States of America, led by our military, stopped the Holocaust, liberated continents, helped nurture free and democratic societies all over the world and continues as the world’s lead humanitarian organization.
Perhaps the most important service our fallen troops perform for us on Memorial Day is providing us with inspiration to overcome the obstacles we face. When we think about the long odds our troops endured in these battles and others, the challenges we face today immediately become more manageable. In light of their hardships and sacrifice, the problems we must solve immediately seem more solvable.
Each Memorial Day, when we think about the hundreds of thousands of Americans who laid down their lives for what Ronald Reagan, echoing Lincoln, called the “last best hope for man on earth,” we can’t help but be inspired to meet the challenges we face and to do our part to preserve our country and way of life for our children and their children.
As we commemorate Memorial Day 2016 on Monday and pay tribute to the heroism and sacrifice of the brave men and women who gave their lives for our country, we should appreciate, too, that their service continues — by unifying communities, connecting generations and inspiring the nation.
For the full article New York Post