As we visit cemeteries, place flags, hold ceremonies, and gather for family picnics, there are questions we should ask this Memorial Day—each of us as Americans. We all should be asking questions this Memorial Day as we honor those who gave their lives in order for us to continue to enjoy the rights, privileges, and opportunities that define America.
But are we? Just look around at the issues, problems, and behaviors that we are dealing with in communities all across this nation that are so un-American. If we bother to stop and think, no doubt we all could come up with our own lists of areas that desperately need work.
A very obvious one: First, and foremost, is the freedom and integrity of the press. Without a free and honest press, a fundamental tenet of a democratic society is gravely at risk. Is the press in America free? Is it practicing the highest standard of integrity? These are questions we should ask this Memorial Day because many died to protect this critical freedom.
There are many who have access to the media who are hell-bent on promoting distortions, falsehoods, downright lies to influence a public who is unable to see firsthand or bear witness that something happened or was said. Yet those the public counts on, leaders and members of the press, too often are loose with the truth. Why? What purpose does in serve other than to promote some selfish agenda rather than what is in the best interest of a trusting public? These are questions we should ask this Memorial Day.
Other critical questions include: Why are there many efforts occurring to make it more difficult for legal citizens to exercise their right to vote? Isn’t the right to vote fundamental to what it means to be an American? Is the right to vote one of the privileges the men and women we honor today died for? At this stage in American history, shouldn’t the priority be to make voting equally accessible for all citizens?
There are many more questions we should ask this Memorial Day.
All around us, there are things occurring daily that threaten to undo what so many of our fellow citizens made the ultimate sacrifice for. And, if we do not stand and fight to protect the rights and privileges that make America who she is, then our commemorations ring hollow. If we are not doing what we can do to preserve what many died for, then we are failing to carry on.
How do we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice as we go about our daily lives? Do you feel that some basic rights and privileges they fought and died for are at risk? What are you prepared to do about it? These are questions we should ask this Memorial Day. But not just today.