When asked, what's your favorite movie, song or book, most would have a pretty quick answer. I like Radio Flyer, Don't Worry Baby and Dracula. That's just off the top of my head, but most people can rattle off something they enjoyed 15 or more years ago. When you think about it, remembering a favorite toy from your childhood is fairly amazing in its insignificance. But our minds are amazing machines. Machines that doctors and scientists still don't really understand too well.
Today we all stopped from our work to remember the veterans. Yes, we honor our veterans. We grill, we fly a flag. We might watch a war movie. But let's stop and really think about all the silly things we remember here in America. Those memories, every one, is a gift of luxury. The fact that we can tick off favorite entertainment forms that are made in a free society is a benefit we gained from men and women who lived through horrific times and put their lives on the line. 18-year-old men signed up to march into artillery fire in a foreign country with no guarantee they'd come home. Many did not.
So, while we remember the men and women who died and served, along with those who still do, we should remember, too, that freedom is not free. It is also a very fragile thing. The people of Germany never would have held an ambition to wipe out an entire ethnic group. Yet they elected a man who led them down that path. We should be ever vigilant in our defense of freedom and protect true rights, not those that are trotted out by selfish, power-hungry politicians. Those rights that are given by God: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (note, pursuit, not all-the-things-that-make-me). Those rights exist without infringing or demanding anything from anyone else. Except maybe, that others cannot kill you, enslave you or stifle your own work or industry.
Men and women have died to protect those rights. Remember them. They lead us by their example. They lead us toward greatness.