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While our rights to life, liberty, and property are endowed by God, securing those rights has fallen to men and women willing to battle enemy forces intent on destroying the glorious American experiment. And in those battles, a great many patriots gave that “last full measure of devotion.”

This is a weekend, nominally at least, when we are to pause and remember their sacrifices. We remember those who considered their own lives less precious than the cause of our Republic. Because of them, our flag flies boldly even today as a beacon of freedom in a dark world of tyranny.

Speaking in his characteristically blunt fashion, Gen. George S. Patton once observed, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

There are, of course, those who rightly mourn the personal loss of their honored loved ones on this day; siblings, children, spouses. And we grieve with them.

Yet even more so we must be, in Patton’s words, thankful that we live in the warmth of liberty their sacrifice made possible.

We should be similarly mindful that tonight we will sleep easily under the watchful protection of men and women who are willing even today to give their lives for our liberty.

Let us remember, and be thankful.