Ώ ξεϊν΄, άγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ότι τήδε
κείμεθα, τοϊς κείνων ΄ρήμασι πειθόμενοι.
“Go, tell the Spartans, Passer-by, that HERE by Spartan Law we lie.”
That was said by Simoneides over 400 years before the birth of Christ, after the battle of Thermopylae.
Many of you only know it from the movie ‘300’.
Basically, it was saying “Remember us.”
“Remember us." As simple a request as a man can ask. "Remember why we died." Leonidas didn't wish tribute or song. No monuments, no poems of war and valor. His wish was simple: "Remember us." That was his hope.
I recently had the honor of hosting an event in our little town known as ‘Wreaths Across America’, in which Christmas wreaths are laid on the graves of The Fallen.
We do it to Remember.
We gathered to remember that we are one nation, under one flag. We are many races, have many religious beliefs, and come from many walks of life. But the freedoms we enjoy have not come without a price.
In Hallowed Ground all across our great nation are men and women who paid that price, who gave their lives so that we can live in freedom, and without fear. We can worship as we choose, we can raise our children to believe as we do. We can travel from one end of this great nation to the other freely, without having to ask permission to do so. We are free to vote for whomever we feel should hold office, and we answer to no one but ourselves. We have the right to succeed and the right to fail at any endeavor we wish to pursue. The United States was founded on the principles of Freedom, Justice, and Equality. Our nation alone stands as a shining beacon of Liberty and Freedom to the rest of the world.
We have the obligation to thank those that have served, that are serving, and those that paid that ultimate price, who gave their lives in order to keep us free. We should not forget them. We must always remember.
In your neighborhood you may just know Veterans or the families of Veterans of wars and conflicts that America has had to fight to protect the innocent and oppressed. Our country has always been the first to stand up for the freedom of people all over the world. Many of us answered that call and served our country proudly.
It’s time to take a moment to say ‘Thank You’. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.
There are many men and women serving today in all branches of the military, both here at home and in distant places that many have never heard of. These men and women, Brothers and Sisters in Arms, are a part of the best-trained, best-equipped military force in the entire world; the United States Armed Forces. We must honor them and their families for the sacrifices that they make, and the hardships that they endure each day, as they strive to keep our country safe from terrorism, hatred, and injustice that plague the world community.
George Orwell once observed, “You sleep soundly in your beds because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those that would do you harm.”
When you see a Veteran, or Active Duty member of the armed forces, take a moment to say ‘Thank You’. We all owe them our way of life, and a moment of your time is well spent.
Our 40th President, Ronald Reagan once said “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in their bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day, we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.”
“Remember us.” Let us remember the Fallen that have served in the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Air Force, the Coast Guard, the Merchant Marine, and let us never forget the 93,129 United States Servicemen from all branches whose last known status was either Prisoner of War or Missing in Action. They have not yet returned to their families and homes. They must be remembered. They must never be forgotten.
As you go about your routine, take the time to remember. Remember those that have served our country. Remember those that now find themselves in distant lands, serving to keep our country safe. Remember those who are missing, who have not yet returned to our shores, and remember the Fallen, those that paid the ultimate price so that we can enjoy the freedoms we all too often take for granted.
Since the birth of this great nation 235 years ago, men and women, our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, have answered the call, and have willing gone into Harm’s way. For generations they have stood resolute upon the walls and their message has always been the same to each and every one of us. “Nothing’s gonna hurt you. Not on my watch.”
“Go, tell the Spartans, Passer-by, that HERE by Spartan law we lie.”