Today is Memorial Day a American tradition that began in the aftermath of the Civil War to honor those who had lost their lives in the War between the States. While the weapons, equipment, and military strategies have changed over the years, the heart of the military remains the brave men and women who put their own lives and pursuit of happiness on hold while they serve, risking life and limb every day to help ensure peace and security for the people of the United States.
War should only ever be a last resort to solving disputes between Nations, but the role of the military has grown beyond resolving disputes between Nations and fighting hostile military forces. Now the enemy we fight blends in with civilians and uses them as human shields. The battlefield has moved into the towns and villages leaving much of the high power miltary weaponry on the shelf, trading it for soldiers on patrol, always vulnerable to attack from those they protect. In the 21st Century it's more about Nation-building than Nation-destroying.
I have the highest respect and regard for all of those who put their lives on the line in the US Armed Forces. I didn't serve and I can't begin to imagine what it must feel like to head out into hostile territory or watch a friend die in a firefight. I have seen the toll it takes on families and loved ones when a soldier falls and I think the worst thing for them to think at the time would be that their loss was in vain.
So I hope that every government official takes serious their responsibility to adequately prepare each soldier and put them in a position where the mission is clear and the rules of engagement give them every chance to protect themselves and others in their units.
I hope every American voter takes serious their responsibility to elect politicians who are qualified to wield the power and might of the greatest fighting force the world has ever known. And I hope we never forget the sacrifices it took of so many American kids throughout our Nation's history to bring us all the opportunity to live right here, right now.
We should all feel lucky every day to be Americans and be wise enough to remember and honor our countrymen and women who have died to make and keep our Nation safe and strong. We owe every bit of our liberty and freedom to them.