Editorial: Another day in paradise

Memorial Day has passed, but just one day of recognition does not do enough to express the debt of gratitude owed to those men and women who lost their lives serving our country in its time of need.

We live in a land where we’re free to vote for whomever and whatever we please, to worship how we see fit, and to pursue whatever makes us the most happy — and we have our veterans to thank for that.

Words from the American Legion this past holiday ring true every day of the year: “They each have stories to tell. The crosses at Normandy. The markers at Punchbowl. The tombs at Arlington. The fallen heroes who rest in places unknown.

“From our founding Revolution to today’s Global War on Terrorism, nearly 1 million men and women in the Armed Forces have sacrificed their lives while defending America in times of war.

“The numbers of our fallen heroes are not just statistics. They are real people, with real families, who lived in real communities.

“We can best honor their sacrifice by remembering their families, who have lost so much. Long after the battlefield guns have been silenced and the bombs stop exploding, the children of our fallen warriors will still be missing a parent. Spouses will be without their life partners. Parents will continue to grieve for their heroic sons and daughters that died way too early.

“The empty seat at the dinner table, the smaller gathering on Thanksgiving, and the voice of a loved one heard only as a distant memory in one’s mind are constant reminders that they are gone.

“Nobody can replace these fallen heroes – especially in the eyes of their families – but we can offer shoulders to cry on, assistance with educational expenses and assurance that their loved one’s sacrifice will not be forgotten.

“Americans must remember that freedom isn’t free. In fact, it’s only possible because our fallen heroes have paid its high price.

“We owe it to the heroes that died and the loved ones left behind to make sure that their sacrifices are remembered and that their service to this nation always be honored.”

Not just one day, but every day.