Depending upon when you read this we will either be getting ready to observe Memorial Day or we will have already done so. Just as a history lesson, Memorial Day has been observed in this country in some fashion since 1865.

Depending upon when you read this we will either be getting ready to observe Memorial Day or we will have already done so. Just as a history lesson, Memorial Day has been observed in this country in some fashion since 1865.  
It started as a day to remember the Union soldiers who died in the Civil War and has been expanded over the years to honor all those who have died in defense of our country.  And, even though we now use that day as a time to remember our loved ones who have passed, we must never forget the real reason for the day – to pay tribute to those who have died to protect our freedoms.
Veteran’s Day is a time to honor and thank all who have donned the uniform of our nation but Memorial Day is a day to remember those who gave the full measure of devotion to defend the rights so many take for granted.  I wonder if any of those in this current “snowflake generation” understand that their rights to demand “safe zones” that limit free speech was bought by the lives of those fighting for free speech.
Many in our nation think that any war is wrong and that we need to talk our enemies to death.  Surely if we just reason with them they will see that we just want to be their friend and to live in harmony for the rest of our days.  Welcome to Fantasy lsland 2018.  I expect to see Mr. Roarke and Tattoo except they are now dead, as is the thought that this exists anywhere but in a fantasy.
Very few people want or seek war and yes it is horrible and sometimes the sacrifices seem too great.  But, if we are not willing to fight for our freedoms then we do not deserve to have them.  As the saying goes – freedom is not free.  If we did not have men and women willing to give their lives for this nation then we would be bowing in servitude to a dictator like so many around the world.
President Ronald Reagan said that “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream.  It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”  
And, John Philpot Curran (Irish politician) said in 1790, “It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become prey to the active.  The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.”

Far too many in this great nation either do not understand or do not care the price that our freedom has demanded.  If they do not understand that is our fault for not teaching them.  If they do not care then we are doomed as a nation.

People make speeches and demand rights that are not true rights but rather the “wants” that they think they deserve by birth.  And they do not grasp that the “rights” we have in this nation of a free people have been bought by someone willing to die for them.

We are embroiled right now in a war for the soul of our nation.  Are we going to continue to value freedom of speech and the other rights set forth in our Bill of Rights and our Constitution and be willing to die to protect them?  Or are we going to chip away at them in the name of political correctness and in the pursuit of being free from being offended by anyone with a different opinion.

We have a choice as a people.  We can honor the sacrifices of those who have died and are still willing to die to keep us free.  Or we can bow to those that have no understanding of what being free really means and what it truly costs.

I can’t answer for anyone but myself.  But for me, I will never be silenced.  I will never stop opposing those that seek to take away my freedoms.  And I will never forget that the legacy that I leave to generations that follow is that I never took for granted how precious it is to live free.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to those who died for my freedom.  Never forget and never give up the fight.
   

Kevin Wilson writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.