And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
When asked what defines America, many people would say it is “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Memorial Day is one of the most patriotic holidays Americans celebrate. It is a day when we pay tribute to the many men and women who, throughout our history, gave their lives while serving this country in the military.
During Ronald Reagan’s Inaugural address in 1981, President Reagan told the story of Private Martin Treptow, a barber who enlisted with the Iowa National Guard and became a part of the 168th Infantry of the 42nd Division (the famous Rainbow Division) during World War I. Treptow was killed during the war while delivering a message between battalions. His diary was found on his body and on the flyleaf under the heading, “My Pledge,” he wrote these words:
America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.
On March 30, 1961, long before that first Inaugural address, Reagan delivered a speech to the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. In this speech was a powerful reminder to all of us of the importance of protecting the freedoms we hold so dear.
…freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it and then hand it to them with the well thought lessons of how they in their lifetime must do the same. And if you and I don’t do this, then you and I may well spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.
This Memorial Day, I hope you will join others and raise your American flag in honor and remembrance of those heroes who paid the ultimate price in order for us to have the freedoms we enjoy every day – freedom of speech, freedom to worship and freedom to run our own business. I thank God for blessing America with these brave men and women. Let us never take it for granted.
To all who are serving in the military today and especially those who are part of our Premier Family, thank you for your commitment to America. I pray that God will protect and bless you and your family.
I hope you will join us at our National Rally this year. We always celebrate America and our service men and women with a special Patriotic day on Saturday. We are forever indebted to them for the price they are willing to pay for us.
God bless America,