To the editor:
Memorial Day is a day to remember soldiers who died fighting for our freedoms. Although we can never repay that debt, we must always remember it’s there.
We should also remember those who lost loved ones for us to be free. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote in 1884 “that it is not of the dead alone that we think on this day. There are those still living whose sex forbade them to offer their lives, but who gave instead their happiness. Which of us has not been lifted above himself by the sight of one of those lovely, lonely women, around whom the wand of sorrow has traced its excluding circle – set apart, even when surrounded by loving friends who would fain bring back joy to their lives? I think of one whom the poor of a great city know as their benefactress and friend. I think of one who has lived not less greatly in the midst of her children, to whom she has taught such lessons as may not be heard elsewhere from mortal lips. The story of these and her sisters we must pass in reverent silence. All that may be said has been said by one of their own sex.”
Unlike in 1884, today we know that both male and female pay the ultimate price; but what he was so eloquently speaking of at the time were those who are left behind. We must also thank those who mourn mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, who took up arms and rushed to protect our way of life. America was birthed in blood but thrives on the freedom to choose our destiny. Many have chosen to defend our ideals. We must return that gift by memorializing their sacrifice.
One of my favorite quotes is by President Kennedy. He said, “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” Evidence of this can be found in many cemeteries throughout our country, and abroad. It can also be found in the many aching hearts left behind.
Vice Mayor Vincent Manfredi
Vincent Manfredi is an owner of InMaricopa.