Monday, May 31, 2010

Remembering on Memorial Day

After attending this morning's ceremony at the 45th Infantry Division Museum I feel impressed to pass along this thought from the conclusion of President Ronald Reagan's 1986 Memorial Day address at Arlington National Cemetery:

"And we owe them something, those boys. We owe them first a promise: That just as they did not forget their missing comrades, neither, ever, will we. And there are other promises. We must always remember that peace is a fragile thing that needs constant vigilance. We owe them a promise to look at the world with a steady gaze and, perhaps, a resigned toughness, knowing that we have adversaries in the world and challenges and the only way to meet them and maintain the peace is by staying strong.

That, of course, is the lesson of this century, a lesson learned in the Sudetenland, in Poland, in Hungary, in Czechoslovakia, in Cambodia. If we really care about peace, we must stay strong. If we really care about peace, we must, through our strength, demonstrate our unwillingness to accept an ending of the peace. We must be strong enough to create peace where it does not exist and strong enough to protect it where it does. That’s the lesson of this century and, I think, of this day. And that’s all I wanted to say. The rest of my contribution is to leave this great place to its peace, a peace it has earned."

To my family members,  my friends and all the brave Americans who have answered the call to preserve our Nation and its principles of Freedom on the fields, skies and seas of battle, thank you. I can not repay you but I will remember and I will teach my children to remember and to keep our promise to you.

Read the full text of President Reagan's address at
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