Friday, May 25, 2012

A reader’s thoughts on Memorial Day

As we head into this long holiday weekend many of us have big plans for things that we are going to be doing with friends and family.  Perhaps you are going to spend time at the lake, or maybe you will just stay home and grill.  Maybe you will go to your local cemetery to decorate graves, or maybe you will use the long weekend to catch up on some much needed sleep.  If you are anything like me though, any plan that you have will also involve sneaking away for a bit and doing some reading.

As readers we have much to be thankful for as we celebrate Memorial Day.  We take it for granted that we can go to our local library and grab a book on any subject and read it without issue.  This ability to read freely was far from free.  Billions of people around the world today do not enjoy the same freedom that you do.  For them reading many of the books we enjoy is nothing more than a dream.  The only reason we are able to enjoy this freedom that they covet is the soldiers who gave their lives in service fighting for that freedom.  This weekend is meant to honor them.  

There is another soldier that we must recognize during our Memorial Day weekend as well.  This soldier though didn’t fight battles with guns and swords.  Instead they fought the battle for freedom with pen and paper.  It has been said that the pen is mightier than the sword, and many times these men and women have proven it true.  Some of them lost their lives because of what they wrote.  They found themselves martyrs for causes that they believed a great deal in.  Others spent their lives as living martyrs sacrificing everything in order to fight for what they believed in.  Instead of seeking riches and fame they put words to paper.

These word soldiers have ranged throughout time and on Memorial Day I believe that we must honor them.  We must honor men such as those that penned the Declaration of Independence.  With each word they signed a possible death sentence knowing that they were fighting for something greater than themselves.  We must honor men such as Abraham Lincoln who used his words to change the heart of a nation and bring families back together.  We must honor men like Martin Luther King Jr. who used the written word to help bring an end to racial separation.  We must honor the thousands of other men and women have done (and still do) the same. 

I hope that whatever you plans are this weekend you take at least a few moments to think of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  Think of the soldiers that willingly laid down their lives on battle fields around the world and throughout the course of American history.  Millions of them have died over the years so that we can live in the country that we live in today.  While doing this don’t forget to remember the writers who have used weapons more powerful than even guns to change our country and allow us the freedom that we enjoy today.

Of course there is no way to thank them for all that they have done to earn and guard the freedoms we enjoy.  They are no longer with us.  Perhaps the best thing we can do is to simply enjoy the freedom that we have because of them.  Pick up a book and start reading it.  Billions of people around the world cannot do this, but you can.  Don’t waste this freedom that you have.  While you are reading it, think of the millions of soldiers who died so that you could.

No comments:

Post a Comment