Today we remember the ultimate sacrifice of generations of Americans, from days of the Revolutionary war to the military actions following the gruesome attacks on 9/11. President Abraham Lincoln rightly stated, “in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.” He further noted that the living must dedicate themselves to the unfinished work for which the brave have died.
While many of these Americans died protecting the freedom already enjoyed in our nation, they also died to ensure that America could more fully realize its founding principles of liberty and self-governance. As the events in Manchester violently remind the world that evil exists, Americans must recommit themselves to the bold and unmistakable proposition that God created men and women to live free of tyranny and oppression.
America has lived through both bright and dark moments. Some individuals point to America’s dark moments as reasons to disqualify her from world leadership. And yet, it is because of her lows, in conjunction with her highs, that the world needs to see America standing strong and proud. Throughout her missteps and mistakes, she has always paid the price to return to her founding proposition and calling.
We who live and benefit from the sacrifices of our honored dead, have a responsibility to bring about the fuller fruition of the promise that is our nation and its founding principles. The world, let alone America herself, does not benefit from a timid America. American G.I.s, strengthened by the conviction of their cause’s righteousness, stormed the beaches of Normandy to turn the tide of World War II and helped hold the communists at bay in North Korea. A bold and proud America, assured that all people yearn for freedom, challenged the Soviet Union to tear down the iron curtain that divided the European continent for almost fifty years. And when a new threat to freedom killed over 3,000 individuals on September 11, 2001, America lead a coalition that ultimately crippled the ability of islamic terrorists to conduct another attack of the same scale. And even as the Vietnam War became muddled by domestic politics, America was guided by the principle that people should live free of the oppression and tyranny of Communism.
We are not a perfect nation, but the sacrifices of our honored dead remind us that our founding principles are still worth our devotion. The deeds of our fallen stand forever as a testament to the courage and resolve of a free people. As we remember our heroes, let’s recommit ourselves to the principles for which they gave all.
God Bless the families of our fallen heroes and God Bless the United States of America.