Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Well today is Memorial Day, and it is always a very special day for me.  On this weekend 12 years ago I pedaled a bicycle from Austin back to Arlington, and in doing so celebrated our fallen heroes.  It is at this time each year that we salute those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, so that we may enjoy the freedoms that make this country so remarkable.  I know we have plenty of problems here in America.  But I was free yesterday morning to attend the church of my belief.  I am free to speak my mind on any subject without the threat of imprisonment.  I am free to move about this great country without restriction.  And lastly I am free to pursue life, liberty and happiness, as long as I conform to the laws of the city, state and nation.  For some of you it may not sound like much, but imagine not having just one of those freedoms, much less having all of them removed.  That is why it is so important to take the time to remember our fallen. 

Memorial Day was first celebrated after the civil war.  Brother against brother for the purpose of gaining freedom for individuals that didn't have freedom.  Sometimes it's hard for me to imagine the rag tag Continental Army and our founding fathers deciding to fight the largest force on earth for the purpose of gaining freedom.  Then of course, consider the Greatest Generation coming together to beat back tyranny in WWI and WWII.  Korea, Viet Nam, Kuwait, Desert Storm I & II and now Afghanistan were all examples of America suiting up to preserve Liberty and the Freedoms of other people.  I am very proud to have served my country and when my time gets short, I would like to be surrounded by those at our National Memorial Cemetery in Grand Prairie

This morning at 6:00 my Rotary Club will put up flags to commemorate Memorial Day.  Police Chief Will Johnson and I put 61 flags in front of houses this morning and will take them down this evening.  This morning at Moore Cemetery on Davis, there was a very moving service.  I had the privilege to listen to Sgt. Stephen Jackel.  He told the story of how his Abrams troop carrier was hit by an IED and how he later lost both legs.  A woman once asked him, after suffering such injuries, would you let your son or daughter join the military?  He stated, “Why wouldn’t I?  To serve your country to preserve our freedom is the ultimate duty.”  What a remarkable young hero.  But heroism can be simply standing a good watch, because they are watching over us, and protecting us.  Do you ever consider that when we are having a lunch of BBQ or burgers, that there are troops standing watch in the middle of the night on the other side of the world?  Have you considered that there might be a firefight in the Hindu Kush or that Navy SEALS might be in the Crimea as we sleep? I hope that you take some time out of your day to attend a service or event, and remembered to say thank you for their sacrifice.  God Bless America.

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