With the America’s most sacred of holidays today, I ask this question of my fellow Americans: What is the price of freedom worth to you?
It may be easy for most to head into this weekend with plans for family get-togethers, picnics, barbecues and trips to the beach, lake, mountains or wherever rest and relaxation presents itself with an extra day off from work.
While there is nothing wrong with enjoying the freedoms our great country offers, it is important to remember what those freedoms cost.
Today is Memorial Day, a day set aside as a time of remembrance for those who paid for our freedoms with their lives. From the first Decoration Day in 1868, we have honored our war dead through ceremonies, graveside visits, wreath placements, and flower layings. These tributes were meant to remind us that each granite headstone or marble marker represents a life laid down for the price of freedom.
Every man and woman that died in every war and conflict since the American Revolution, paid the debt that liberty requires. Their lives for our lives. Their futures for our futures. Their freedom for our freedom. This is the true cost of war.
For those of us still living who once took an oath to support and defend our constitution and wore the cloth of our nation, we counted that cost and understand what that sacrifice means. For the Gold Star families, the ones who lost their loved one to combat, they know just how painful paying that price can be.
Before you book your entire holiday, make sure your reserve some time Monday to pause, reflect, and ponder the price paid in the past to ensure we have a chance at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness here in the present.
Editor’s note: Matthew “Fritz” Mihelcic is VFW national commander. Visit vfwar.org.