Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember and honor all veterans, especially those who paid the ultimate price, sacrificing their lives to preserve the freedoms this great country was founded on. The parades and services are many, and the cemeteries are colorful with beautiful flowers. Our forefathers rose up and fought bravely to establish a democracy for and by the people wanting justice, liberty, and freedom for all peoples. Thus, America was born, a great nation whose young would be asked to defend with arms these rights many times.
Yes, it is right to honor them with parades, flowers and speeches; however, many of us, after attending these services, if we go, then go about our day’s planned activities. Do we remember that they passed the torch to fight to preserve liberty and justice for us?
Little by little, apathy, a disease growing unchecked, is eating away at the very rights many fought and died for. We have the freedom to worship at the church of our choice. Do we go or bring our children? By voting, we make our voices heard, but do we vote? Do we watch our elected officials, who are supposed to be working for us, not themselves? We’re being taxed out of our shoes, if we can afford a pair these days! The decisions are being made for us, good or bad, and the silent majority remains silent unless a decision affects them personally. Prayers in public schools, including graduations, was abolished years ago. Religious displays or demonstrations are quickly scorned. Fear of war, a family crisis, or other serious problems and suddenly we remember the power of prayer. Violence has invaded our schools, homes and work places. Our young people are exposed to violence in movies, television programs, computers and news stories. They face a challenging future. Are we preparing them correctly?
Where and who are the role models our young are learning to copy? What examples are we setting when we remain silent as God and democracy are rapidly becoming lost words in the dictionary? The active minority, and I’m not referring to race, color or creed, are inch by inch robbing the silent majority of their rightful inheritance, our birth rights, and the birth rights of our children, our future generations! I know there are many persons in various careers that are trying to make a difference in these troubling times. They are the silent heroes who don’t want or receive publicity.
From under the thousands of crosses, the brave heroes call out to all of us to exercise our ‘people power’ to speak up with courage, to fight on, torch held high, so they will not have died in vain! This is how we can honor them on Memorial Day! Shall, “One Nation Under God with Trust” now become, “One Nation Without God?” One Nation without freedom or liberty, without hope? I pray not!
MARY A. RANNO