In so many other nations across the world, those of us who have participated in this BLOG by articulating our opinions about what’s wrong with government and offering suggestions of how to fix what’s wrong would likely have endured some form of punishment for speaking out and sharing our opinions. That punishment could be anything from a monetary fine to death by hanging. So, despite all of the problems that we continue to identify and push to reform, I feel compelled, since Memorial Day is right around the corner, to remind us all that our basic form of government, with its guarantee of freedoms like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and yes, freedom of assembly for each and every citizen, is a form of government that we should never take for granted.

In the words of John F. Kennedy in his 1961 inaugural address, “ Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of freedom”.

There is no question that over centuries we have paid a huge price in the pursuit and defense of freedom. FREEDOM IS NOT FREE. AND IT WILL NEVER BE FREE. Many have paid the ultimate price in defense of the freedoms that we hold so dear. As the Memorial Day holiday has evolved into the “unofficial” beginning of summer for so many, I fear that many of us have forgotten the true meaning behind the holiday. As we prepare to celebrate next week, let’s remember to take a moment, each in our own way, during the parades, ceremonies and cookouts, to honor our veterans and the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives to protect freedom for all of us. And let us not forget our troops who are currently facing the horrors of war. As of May 17, 2012, 4,422 US troops lost their lives in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and another 1,965 US troops have perished in Operating Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Another 47,874 US troops have been wounded in action during the course of these two wars. These combat wounds have changed the lives of so many, both physically and emotionally, forever.

Please pray for a safe and quick return home for the troops still deployed and deploying, and for their families. America is the greatest nation in the world due to the commitment of our men and women in uniform who willingly serve our country in order to protect our rights and freedoms. Because of them, we can freely participate in this blog and continue to point out the problems in our government (and yes, there are many) and offer constructive solutions to fix those problems.

God Bless Our Men and Women in Uniform, and God Bless America!