Remember those who fought for our freedom
May 23, 2012 4:12PM
President James A. Garfield is quoted as having said, “For love of country they accepted death.”
Of course, he was speaking about the men and women — now more than one million — who have lost their lives in service to this country since its inception. For love of country … how extraordinary these people — past and present — that they would lay down their lives for countless generations of Americans so that we might continue to enjoy the freedoms America was founded upon.
While there are countless opportunities to honor our deceased military at special Memorial Day services, events and parades, sadly, few will take the time to do so. We’ve come to view the military as just another job, a career choice, rather than the true sacrifice it is.
If nothing else, perhaps we might take a moment over the coming weekend to reflect on this country our soldiers love so much, and why. What are the very things that make the United States so unique but yet we take for granted?
As a journalist, for me the freedom I appreciate most, yet take for granted, is freedom of the press. In many countries, the press is severely censored and controlled. News becomes propaganda for dictatorships and corrupt governments rather than legitimate sources of information. Love it or hate it, journalism in this country presents a myriad of information, opinion, images in an ever-increasing variety of ways. Too many people today, and over the course of history, have never enjoyed such a freedom.
Wayne Wiggins, Lowell: I think we all take for granted the freedom we have to move about our country at will. If I wanted to jump in the car right now and drive the 2,000 miles to California, there’s nothing or no one to stop me. And, I would feel safe doing it. Look at all the trouble and violence they’re suffering next door in Mexico right now. Taking a long distance trip across that county would certainly not be something I would feel comfortable doing.
Jeanne Jakulski, Hammond: I think we’ve seen a good example of one of our freedoms with the NATO protestors in Chicago. The right to protest and peaceful assembly has been a long tradition in this country and a grass roots way for the voice of the people to be heard. When I was in college, I participated in several protests over the war in Vietnam. While I don’t remember any of my friends saying hateful things about the soldiers of that time, I am regretful, on behalf of our generation, we failed to appreciate how much they sacrificed, especially in light of the treatment they received when returning home. Today we see protesters as bothersome or a bunch of crazies, but there is a profound freedom in their collective voices. We should remind ourselves that in some countries yet today, they would simply be shot in the streets.
Karen Borowicz, Merrillville: Freedom of religion is at the heart of what we are as a country and why we were founded in the first place. We should all be looking at issues, such as the recent health care mandates very careful and with serious concern. Too many, I fear, don’t realize the implications for all of us, no matter what our beliefs, or lack thereof.