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Memorial Day

By Remy Benoit

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence he helped to launch one of the greatest experiments of all time—a nation governed by its PEOPLE. Most of the world said that we would fail, that it couldn't be done.

Well, it has been done—done because our PEOPLE stood behind it; protected; gave their limbs, hearts, souls, and lives to see that it endured. This Memorial Day Holiday is NOT about sales on barbecues, and yet it is. It is because so many have given so much so that you would live free—to thrive, to grow, to be educated contributors to this society of ours. And, indeed, to indulge in barbecues on this holiday.

As a nation we are woefully unaware of the wealth of our history. We are not cognizant of individuals all along the way who devoted their lives to improving it; making it grow. We are woefully unaware that sometimes, despite a paucity of leadership, we have continued because WE are the American Dream.

If you are sitting by and not demanding real answers, real positions, from the candidates for the highest office in the land; if you are sitting by and not demanding the right care for our Veterans, then you are not taking your place in the caravan of history that will determine if we will continue to grow, to thrive, to see that All have access to the best we can be.

If there is poverty in this country, and there is; if there is inadequate treatment for our Veterans, and there is; if our cities, roads, levees, bridges, school systems, and health systems are not what they should be, and they are not, the fault lies not with the millions who have died for them to be what they should be, but with us.

This Memorial Day, make a determination to stand up, just as the Founding Fathers stood up; just as countless generations of Veterans have stood up. Read your children and grandchildren their Bill of Rights. Thank a Veteran—reach out and help a Veteran. Demand of Congress a viable GI Bill; demand real recognition of PTSD as a concomitant of war; demand respectful treatment of Soldier's Heart—of PTSD for our Veterans; demand a viable VA system as a way of really thanking them for putting their lives on hold for you; of letting their lives end so you could live yours. Stand up as they have and make your voice be counted.

For a history, and YES, READ HISTORY, go here History.com for A History of Memorial Day.

Blessings,
Remy


'The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive how veterans of earlier wars were treated by their nation.'

George Washington


Special Broadcast about Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday from Veterans Radio. Thanks to Michael Orban for letting us know about this.

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This item is part of WelcomeHomeSoldier.com: historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.


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