As it does every year, our nation will take some time this weekend to honor and remember those who gave their lives in defense of both our nation itself, and a way of life that this nation has represented since its creation.
Freedom and independence can mean a great many things to a great many people. In fact, pick any subject you’d like and the same thing can be said — we are a nation of different experiences, ideals, beliefs and desires, and it is perfectly understandable that these differences would cause us to see things in very different lights.
In some ways, these differences can rip us apart. In other ways, these differences are what drive us to be better. We were once considered a “melting pot” for the way we brought in so many different cultures to form a nation that was forged on acceptance and opportunity for all. Those ideals are still present today, even if political, racial, gender and cultural divides seem more pronounced than ever.
And those ideals are still in place because brave men and women have always stood up to face threats to our way of life, even though the stakes were impossibly high.
Who goes away to a foreign land to fight strangers to help and protect strangers at home, especially when there is a very good chance of death? Heroes.
Remember them all this weekend. Pay them their due.