Memorial Day 2010

    They fell in battle fighting for our right to enjoy freedom of speech or the right to remain silent. They gave their lives so we might be free to worship or free to not worship, to sing in the choir or sleep late on Sunday. They died defending our right to read words printed in a free press or to laugh at cartoons in the funny pages. They died in order that we might live and continue to live in a place called America.
    Mostly they were young. They had sweethearts waiting for them at home. They had dads who were proud of the brave men their sons had become and mothers who still baked them cookies. They had dreams, American dreams. They dreamed of having kids and houses with white picket fences. They dreamed about starting a business or going to college. They were all heroes on their last day and they deserve the gratitude of a grateful nation. They felt the wrath of war for us and gave us peace.
    They died so we could vote for the candidate of our choice in November, or have a backyard barbecue in July. They died so we could root, root, root for the home team, or  just lay on our backs at the beach and watch the clouds sail by. They paid the highest price possible in order for our children to grow up in a country with a Golden torch and door on one end and a Golden Gate on the other. They made it possible for the bulls to run on Wall Street and for women to run for President. They stood against tyranny and tyrants. They stood up for America’s children in the playground and against the bullies of the world as only big brothers and sisters could do. We salute them.
    We salute them with parades and with color guards and with marching bands. But we also salute them with sack races and picnics, and row boats, and cold watermelon, and things as patriotic and American as a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a piece of Grandma’s famous American apple pie.   Ingimar DeRidder