01Memorial Day is the time for Americans to reconnect with their history and core values, by honoring those who gave their lives for the ideals we cherish.Engraved in granite at the Korean War Memorial in Atlantic City are the words of Robert Pinsky 39th Poet Laureate of the United States:

Less eager than willing.
More dutiful than brave.
Brave when required, democracy’s children
They give their service far from home as victors not conquerors in freedom’s name

Over 1 million Americans have lost their lives while serving their country. On Memorial Day, it is important that we, as a nation, reflect on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.

In the words of President John F. Kennedy, “A nation reveals itself not only by the citizens it produces, but also by the citizens it honors, the citizens it remembers.”

We knew them as brothers and sisters, as husbands and wives, as children. They gave us hope and faith in the future. They gave us strength to overcome tyranny and human bondage. They gave us freedom. They often did not know why they were called to this duty or why they were asked to make this sacrifice. They only knew that their nation called and they willingly answered.

We must never forget what they did and what they stood for.

Always remember that:

“It is the soldier, not the computer programmer,
Who has given us freedom of the Internet.
It is the soldier, not Apple or Droid,
Who has given us freedom to e-mail and text.
It is the soldier, not Occupy Wall Street,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, not the talk show hosts,
Who has given us the right to a fair trial;
And it is the soldier –who salutes the flag,
Who serves the flag, and
Whose coffin is draped by the flag–
Whose sacrifice allows the protestor the right to burn the flag.”

Christopher P. St. Lawrence
Town of Ramapo

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