Today is Memorial Day. During the course of the day many words, like these, will be written; many parades will be held; many gun salutes at cemeteries; many prayers offered; and many speeches made. All of these will have a singular aim, to remember and honor those who have fallen in defense of our liberty. The Commander in Chief of our military will lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and speak words of scripted eloquence again for the purpose of remembering and honoring our fallen heroes. And I will say without hesitation that these are all good things.
Of course, this is a national holiday so most people will be granted a day off from work. Many will spend the time with friends and family enjoying mini-vacations and having fun. There are those who might disparage these activities, and I understand their concern. It could be perceived that such things take the sacrifices of our brave defenders for granted. But I believe that even here, such times can serve as a kind of statement of gratitude which does honor them. I believe that the fallen soldier, if we could ask him, would tell us, “Go ahead and enjoy this respite. After all, the freedom to do so is one of those I and so many others gave our lives to protect. I would only ask that you take some time to remember me and those others and give thanks for our efforts. You can honor us when you remember the price paid for your liberty, and then go and live and enjoy that liberty.”
There are also some who will consciously choose not to honor those who purchased liberty and have preserved it with their lives, for one reason or another, and perhaps even express hostility toward such a celebration of honor. To those people our imaginary fallen soldier might say, “Yes you do have the right to protest and even to denigrate the sacrifices of our defenders. Freedom of speech allows this but be careful that you do not end up biting the hand that provided you your liberty and defends it today. Because in many of the countries you admire and seek to emulate, words like you often spew against our nation would get you shut down with extreme prejudice.”
There is one more group of people which our mythical fallen soldier might want to address, if it were possible. That would be the group of people making up the leadership of our federal government, specifically our elected representatives in the House and Senate, our President, and our Supreme Court justices. That fallen soldier might say, “If you are going to try and honor our memories, begin by remembering what we fought and died for. Remember that we all, like all of you, took an oath and we, unlike you, died fulfilling that oath. Our oaths were not to any of you, they were above all expressing fidelity to the Constitution of the United States. Your oaths call on you to hold fidelity to the same Supreme Law of the Land as well. Why so? Because the purpose of the Constitution is to establish the ideals of liberty spelled out in our Declaration of Independence. If any action of our government violates those principles, it also violates the Constitution, and thus violates your oaths. It doesn’t matter if those actions are self-serving executive orders, ridiculous court rulings which turn the Constitution into silly putty, or congressional actions undermining our military and veterans. As we died keeping our oaths, we call on you to live keeping yours! Then we are truly being remembered with honor.”
Finally, as a veteran I would like to add this. I am a member of an organization called Oath Keepers. We are a group of active duty military, veterans, law enforcement officers, and government officials who seek to keep the oath we all swore. The Constitution we swore an oath of loyalty to gave our federal government limited powers. According to the Constitution, the government is to “promote (not provide for) the general welfare” of the people. Conversely, the Constitution does state that one prime purpose of government IS to “PROVIDE FOR the common defense” of the people. Wasting our tax revenue on things such as fraudulent welfare programs, mythical man-made ‘climate change’, free cell phones, government-run health care, and even support of terrorist activity in other lands, both denigrates the sacrifice of the fallen and drains resources better directed back to the people, and toward our “common defense”. If you in Washington truly want to honor the fallen this Memorial Day, stop the unconstitutional overreach before it is too late or we will lose our liberty which was so dearly purchased. You will honor the fallen best if you will Keep…your…oath!