With Memorial Day weekend upon us, we look forward to another splendid Nebraska summer. But before we leap ahead, let us pause for a moment to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day. Without a doubt, what makes this country great are the men and women who sign up to defend a cause greater than themselves. They are defending our freedom; something so precious and so extraordinary that to die for it would be the ultimate honor.
President Ronald Reagan often referred to those courageous soldiers who gave their lives on the battle field as giving "their last full measure of devotion for our country." I couldn't agree more. When an American soldier makes the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of liberty, they demonstrate an absolute devotion to their country. We should be eternally grateful to these truly selfless defenders of our democracy.
Many have died to protect our freedom to live without fear or worry. Although a courageous soldier may meet death in the defense of such a noble cause as freedom, not even death can diminish that cause. Rather, their death should inspire us, the living and the free, to devote ourselves to that same cause. When we vote, and speak out for what is right every day, we honor the death of the men and women of our military. As active, positive citizens, we pay tribute to the fallen.
Our gratitude and high regard for our brave brothers and sisters should extend far beyond the last Monday in May. We are a nation that values liberty above all else, and we enjoy freedoms that many only dream of. So, as we wait on the cusp of summer, let us remember how truly fortunate we are. And let us never forget those who looked death in the face, and defended our freedom with their entire lives.