Memorial Day 2021: Will We Keep America Free?

by Rees Lloyd

Memorial Day is a day to remember what should be remembered every day–the  service and sacrifice of the more than 1.3-million American veterans who have given their their lives in war so that we, their posterity, might live as free Americans. (See attached below a chart of casualties in all the wars from the War of Independence to Iraq and Afghanistan.) 

But Memorial Day 2021 differs from past Memorial Day observances. Our nation is more divided on this Memorial Day than perhaps any time since the Civil War. Indeed, the country has been transformed from “one nation under God” into a divided nation without God, resulting in seething, increasingly violent, animus and mutual distrust.

The national motto—“E Pluribus Unum” (“From Many, One” ) is scarcely ever referenced, even as a goal, let alone as a reality. Cries of “racist!” fill the air at any disagreement over policy and social interaction,  and riots and the threat thereof  — forms of social “extortion”—replace good faith attempts to seek solutions for the common good.

The goal of the Civil Rights Movement of a color-blind society in which all are treated equally regardless of “color,” has been replaced by a creed of color-consciousness underlying every governmental and social action.

The goal of “equality,” with all being treated equally under the law without regard for race, has been abandoned in favor of all actions being consciously based on race, and racial preference, in the name of ambiguous “inequity” rather than “equality.”

Thus, decision-making based on race—that is, deliberate, systemic, governmental and social “racism”— is to be followed in order to defeat  “racism.”

The reality that all racism is evil, no matter the color of the victim, no matter the color of the perpetrator, has been retreated from in favor of preference based on race, i.e., racism.

Notwithstanding such racist phenomena obtaining today in the name of anti-racism,  certain truths endure and must be recognized, perhaps especially on Memorial Day, if the American people are going to continue to live in freedom:

The first enduring truth — all rhetoric to the contrary from the political, academic, media, and economic elite notwithstanding —  is that freedom is not free, but has been purchased by the blood of veterans who have loved America, over 1.3-million of whom gave their lives for our freedom.

We Americans of this era owe those American patriots who came before us, veterans who gave their lives for freedom, a great debt —our freedom. We pay that debt by what we are willing to do to preserve freedom for the Americans who will come after us.

The late General Norman (“Stormin’ Norman”) Schwarzkopf, Commander of forces in the Persian Gulf War (“Desert Storm”), succinctly stated an enduring truth: “Some things are worth living for. Some things are worth dying for. One of those things is freedom.”

We Americans on this Memorial Day must honor those veterans who gave their lives for our freedom, and we must ask ourselves: Are we Americans still a people willing to die to preserve freedom, as did those 1.3-million Americans who gave their lives, for us?

I close this Memorial Day 2021 commentary by appending data on those who have given their lives for our freedom in all the wars. Each one of them should be remembered and honored on Memorial Day, and every day.

Finally, I close by attaching the the greatest war poem ever written, Flanders Fields. Although written in 1915 during the Battle of  Ypres in WWI, it  is as relevant, compelling, and moving  today as it was then. This is most especially true of the final lines, which call on us to take up the “torch” of freedom from the falling hands of those dying, and warns: “If ye break faith with us who die/We shall not sleep, though poppies grow/In Flanders fields.”

If we are to remain free, we  Americans must not “break faith” with those 1.3-million American veterans who have given their lives for America, for freedom.  May God bless and keep each and all of them; may we Americans never forget, and always honor them. May we have the courage, the integrity, the love of God, family, comrades, and country, to make the choice they did when called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

FOR GOD AND COUNTRY FOREVER; SURRENDER TO TYRANNY—NEVER

FREEDOM IS NOT FREE  —  REMEMBER  THE  AMERICANS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN WAR THAT WE MIGHT BE FREE:

American Wars: Killed In Action

Revolutionary War………………………….  25,324
War of 1812………………………………….   2,260
Mexican War…………………………………  13,283
Civil War……………………………………..  650,000
Spanish American War…………………….    7,166
World War I…………………………………   116,708
World War II…………………………………  408,206
Korean War…………………………………   54,246
Vietnam War………………………………..   58,223
Persian Gulf War……………………………        363
Afghanistan…………………………………     2,215|
Iraq…………………………………………..     4,212

TOTAL KIA:         1,342,206

TOTAL MISSING IN ACTION: 83,126

In Flanders Fields

by [Canadian] Major John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

[For the full story on Flanders Fields and the Poppy tradition]

© 2021 Rees Lloyd – All Rights Reserved

E-Mail Rees Lloyd: ReesLloydLaw@gmail.com

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