Most people do not consider Memorial Day a "major" holiday. It is the first holiday of summer and gives us a chance to get a jump on the summer holiday season, but this year Memorial Day seems a lot more important because of the war in Iraq. Alabama lost both men and women in this conflict. Pfc. Howard Johnson II was the first Alabamian to be killed in the line of duty. Marine Robert Cahnnell, Sgt. Troy Jenkins, and privates Kelley Prewitt and John E. Brown from Alabama also died in Iraq. CIA agent Johnny Mike Spann died last year in Afghanistan.
In my humble opinion, there is no honor high enough to bestow on these men and women and those who marched before them.
We as Americans can be complacent. When times are good, we take life and liberty for granted. This is a gift from those in uniform who have served our country.
If we don't like what the president or congress is doing, we can fire off letters, we can campaign against them, we can organize protest and join with like minded Americans and run them out of office on a rail. In so many other countries, these actions are unthinkable.
We are also free to choose where we live (if we can afford it). We can attend any church we want to attend and we are free to choose our vocation. The Constitution talks about "The Pursuit of Happiness." That obviously does not guarantee happiness, but we can pursue it until our hearts are content. That is an amazing gift. A gift paid for with the blood of our servicemen and women. I am grateful to them and may their sacrifice always be remembered by every American.