By Jesse Carr
Something designed to preserve, honor, and remember the memory of a person or an event, either as a monument or a holiday... A memorial. There is no day that we can designate, no statue we could erect, or ceremony we can hold that would truly honor the memory of the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have so selflessly given their lives in defense of our country. Our words will never be enough, and our money will never fill the holes in the hearts of those that held them dear, the only way that we can begin to preserve and honor those who have gone and fallen before us is through our actions.
It started nearly 250 years ago. It was nothing more than a belief, an idea, which sprouted into hope for something more. Hope for a place where sex didn't differentiate, a place where race was nothing more than an accent or a color, and a place where everyone would have an opportunity to succeed. Eventually this idea was born; it started on paper, and was ultimately forged through the blood of hundreds of thousands of men and women. They were all dedicated to the same thing, this idea, this belief and hope that we could be something great. Its a belief that puts faith in who we can be, not just who we are. A belief that is recognized through the blood of its defenders.
Over the years this belief has been preserved, from the hills of Gettysburg, to the sands of Iwo Jima, the beaches of Normandy, and most recently the streets of Baghdad and mountains of Afghanistan. Through these conflicts men and women have risen up to uphold that belief. They've rallied to uphold it for our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, and for men and women throughout the world who do not have anyone willing to stand up and defend that belief for them. Spider-man was once told that with great power comes great responsibility; obviously this was in reference to his spidey senses and ability to swing from building to building. But with great power does come great responsibility, and we have a great power. It isn't in our nuclear weapons, it isn't in our ships, it isn't in our hundreds of thousands of servicemen and women, nor even in our clandestine operations. Our great power stems from our ability to resist evil, our ability to bring about change without violence. It comes from the fact that we can inspire others to hope and strive for that belief.
Like some of you I have lost brothers and sisters to that belief and as I sit here writing this tonight many of my closest friends from the Marine Corps are deployed in combat zones, right now, defending that belief. I wish that this weekend I could kick back and relax, and I probably will enjoy a beer or two, but it will be with a heavy heart. A heart that is burdened with the sacrifices of so many who felt it was their duty to safeguard that belief. As we remember on this Memorial Day, let’s remember their families, the husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters. Always remember, and never forget.