...is not about the beginning of summer or a time for barbeques. It is a time set apart to 'remember' something worth remembering; to reflect and to honor the memories of those who laid down their lives for people they never met, indeed for those not yet born.
Today we honored those who gave their lives for liberty in town after town across the United States. Our town had a parade which we try to see each year after which we visit some of the memorial sites set up throughout the town of which we have quite a few. It seems that Washington and the Continental Army had quite a few battles in and around my town of Union here in New Jersey. I do believe he even had a headquarters in nearby Morristown.
I myself think more of those who fought in WWII mainly I guess because my dad fought in that war. He was in Italy, a very muddy Italy, loading those big guns with mortar. He suffered a profound hearing loss in one ear from the sound of those guns. Nowadays the military gives headphones of some kind to the men, I suppose, though I am not sure.
I think probably that many of us here at the Gap, when we think of war, wish there were none, wish there were peace and wish there was a way that the problems that we face from the newest and most deadly enemy we have ever faced in our history known as terrorism, would just go away. But it isn't going to unless we fight it and defeat it.
I remember when I was in high school and learning about the War and most importantly about the Holocaust which was more horrific of an occurence than the invasions of European countries at the time of Hitler's dominance. Even though it happened before I was even born I can still remember getting angry at the leaderships of different countries, especially my own, for not doing something about what Germany was doing to the Jewish people as a whole and some others for whatever reason they so desired to do away with them for.
But then, I saw, as now, there are always those who say don't get involved for one reason or another, and of course Pearl Harbor brougt us into it big time. A direct attack did it, but this time a direct attack wasn't enough to stir so many of us out of our inward thinking and short memories.
Now here we are fighting a war on foreign soil with an all volunteer army. Dispite what some newspapers report, there are men, and women, from all walks of life ready to take their place to fight the enemy that has a creed that is 'Death to America'.
My heartfelt and deep thanks go out all of you brave, courageous and selfless people. Now and for the rest of my life I will remember and honor all of you. Your willingness to be on the frontlines of a war where the enemy is not clearly defined, and where your decision to do so keeps the enemy more on the defensive than the offensive makes every one of you a hero in my eyes and in the eyes of so very many of your fellow Americans.
And today we remember those who went before you and we honor their memory as well.