2001-06-02 / Letters

Memorial Day Message

Memorial Day Message

Dear Editor:

As we paused to commemorate Memorial Day 2001, we were cognizant of the folly and waste of war. We remembered that with freedom there is responsibility and with peace there must be justice.

Our remembrance was for those who made the supreme sacrifice by dying for the cause of freedom and giving us the inspiration to go forward and bring forth on this world the things they fought to gain, but did not live to see. Remember they all fought and died as one.

As we looked at the white crosses on a battlefield cemetery, we said, "We should live as they have died." Let us not forget those still in hospitals with severe and lasting disabilities. Also let us keep in mind those among us that are still alive and active, or since deceased, mindful of the pangs of wounds incurred in battle.

These are the memories we recalled on Memorial Day. Sadly, the importance of this day seems to be slipping and it becomes just another day off. Thank goodness for our Veteran organizations that keep the memory in Memorial Day by conducting patriotic and prayerful services of remembrance and dedication.

It also recalled the responsibility placed in our hands which must be controlled for good. We must not only be strong in arms, but strong and healthy in our national economy. We must be strong and united in prayer. We must not allow rabble-rousers and agitators to weaken us as a people, setting class against class. We want no civil war, no fighting among groups, no jealousies, hatreds or prejudices to tear us asunder. A Utopia? Yes! But it’s possible with sane and honest thinking by responsible leaders and diplomats.

Sadly the Golden Rule, "Do unto others…" is forgotten in international relations when alleged learned and respected diplomats gather to discuss and decide the fates of nations and people. Personal gain and national greed are placed before the common good with no thought of God’s teaching. We prayed for good and sincere men and women to lead us rightfully. We all must be alert to legislative policies and write to our representatives about our thoughts, suggestions and criticisms.

We only ask allegiance to freedom and to quote Somerset Maugham, "If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose all its freedom and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money it values more, it will lose that too."

We took a final moment think of some of the treasures that are being taken away; prayer not allowed in school or sporting events; students no longer pledge allegiance to our flag; portrait of George Washington removed from the classroom; Old Glory burned, desecrated and shown no public respect.

These are a few glaring examples, there are many more. All these prohibited in the name of "freedom of speech!" What a travesty, a misused, misinterpreted and wrongful meaning to the original intention of the phrase in our Constitution. "Speech" means speech not actions, a real twisting of words and their true intent and meaning. We are called "the melting pot", but it looks like it has boiled over from too many do-gooders, including judges and politicians.

Today, with wars stalking the world and our shores, we pray for a sincere peace. We live in a foreshortened world, a number of years ago it took Charles Lindbergh 33 and a half hours to fly from New York to Paris. Now it’s a matter of minutes around the world. Progress? Yes, but let us use it for good.

A final thought. If people could learn to honestly live together in peace and contentment, free from greed and hate. If hate and greed could be replaced with love and charity in everyone, then the world could rejoice and Memorial Day would be a lasting and true memorial to those who have died and suffered in past wars, and present conflicts, for the lasting salvation of all mankind and the honor and glory of God and Country. Keep the memory in Memorial Day. Every day. God Bless America and remember that in the word American is the phrase "I can."

WM. H. O’NEILL


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