In times of change, the Patriot is a scarce man: brave,

hated, and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however,

the timid join him. For then it costs nothing to be a

patriot.   —–Mark Twain


Amidst Military Appreciation Month, we have an important legacy event of deep significance – Memorial Day – in my view, the most sacred of our national secular observances, dedicated to the memory of those who fought and perished, doing so to, first establish our security, sovereignty, and freedom, and then, time and again, sacrifice their lives to sustain it.

While July 4th, Independence Day, has become our mid-year crown jewel, there would be no such national holiday, throughout these centuries, without the incredible courage and sacrifice of the American lives it took to achieve our independence to begin with!

And that bring us directly back to Memorial Day.  How many American lives has it taken to achieve our independence, and then protect and preserve our freedom?  Beginning with the Revolutionary War, including both combat and related causes, 25,000 of our forefathers gave their lives to achieve our original sovereignty.  We’ll skip the incredible carnage of the Civil War, fought to keep our nation together, and move ahead to World Wars I and II, where a combined total of 522,000 American lives were lost, seeking to restore freedom to much, if not most, of the world. Following that global sacrifice, 95,000 of our military members perished in Korea and Vietnam, combined.  Add in about 68-hundred and counting, since 2001, in the War on Terror.  Total American lives lost in war-time, from 1775 to the present, from skirmishes, to small conflicts, to all-out wars, reaches a staggering 1,355,000.

Of those young Americans, who were either drafted or volunteered to serve, it’s likely that most never had the chance at married life, or to become parents, to continue schooling, pursue careers and otherwise enjoy the priceless legacy left by their ultimate sacrifice.

For patriotic Americans, meaning all of you reading this, to include civilians, our great veterans, and those thankfully among us who are currently in uniform. You who’ve actually been educated about our exceptional nation’s history, and from such, have developed an awareness of the enormous cost rendered for the precious gift of freedom, and have a deep sense of gratitude for all those who’ve served in our nation’s uniform before us.

Memorial Day, Monday, May 27th is a special day to be observed, not just with beach and barbeque, but with reflection, admiration, and sincere gratitude, for all of those brave American men and women, past and present, who have served and sacrificed their lives so that we might continue to live in freedom.

There is a saying that when a young American raises his or her hand, promising to serve and defend our nation, by so doing, they are effectively presenting to the United States, a blank check, made payable to America for any amount, up to and including, the price of their lives.

This Memorial Day, please find the time to remember all those, through the generations, who’ve had that black check filled-in, for the ultimate amount.  The price of their lives.