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A MEMORIAL DAY REFLECTION

Courage Begets Courage

Melissa Mackenzie

NewsletterPublisher

The American Spectator



“I Tried to Save The Shire, and It Has Been Saved, But Not For Me.
-Frodo, Lord of the Rings

My favorite book is Lord of the Rings, by the Catholic writer and World War I veteran, J.R.R. Tolkien. The main characters are Frodo (the Officer) and Sam (his second.) They are common soldiers. They’re not big, powerful or particularly brave. They just stoically face each day, and the burden they carry, with grace. They keep going. Their friendship saves them time and time again.
Frodo is mortally wounded in his efforts. The above quote is Frodo explaining that he saved the world, but not for himself. He was too wounded, too bound to the grief of the war, changed permanently. He saved the world for everyone else. It’s a devastating moment — to know the hero is dying and can never heal.
Tolkien says of Frodo:Frodo undertook his quest out of love- to save the world he knew from disaster at his own expense, if he could; and also in complete humility, acknowledging that he was wholly inadequate to the task. His real contract was only to do what he could, to try to find a way, and to go as far on the road as his strength of mind and body allowed. He did that.
A war can kill a man many ways. It’s worth remembering that.

Remembering
It’s the least, the very least, we can do. And yet, it seems like it’s too big of an ask for so many.
My infant son died after living a few days. The thought that consumed me? I just wanted someone to remember him, that his life meant something. His life meant something to me. He utterly transformed me in his short life and I wanted people to know.
How much more, then, the parents, siblings, spouses, children and friends who lost a loved one, a heroic loved one, who gave his life for his country? Their grief should be acknowledged. They, too, sacrificed. 
The least we can do is remember.
All around us, we see the fruits of American service members’ sacrifices. America is a place where people are free to create, innovate, and speak (mostly.) We’re free to assemble. When an American visits another part of the world, it becomes obvious that their notions of freedom and an American’s notion of freedom are vastly different. The dull-witted Prince Harry of England aptly demonstrates that and England is a relatively free place. But not as free as America. Nowhere in the world is like the United States of America. The natural state of most governments, in fact, are to inhibit freedom. Note well Biden and his administration’s efforts to rein in American liberty. It’s anti-American.
What our Founders brilliantly created, our servicemen have defended and protected. Many, many Americans have given their lives defending and protecting these ideals.
Is it too much to ask to remember them? 
We have the Indy 500 and the long weekend and barbecue and pool parties and rest. But that’s all because people were willing to fight and die for these things.
Please remember. Please be seen remembering. Put out your flags. Buy one, if you don’t have one, and put it up. Keep it flying free and clean and beautiful. 
Say a prayer for the fallen. Remember.
Remembering
It’s the least, the very least, we can do. And yet, it seems like it’s too big of an ask for so many.
My infant son died after living a few days. The thought that consumed me? I just wanted someone to remember him, that his life meant something. His life meant something to me. He utterly transformed me in his short life and I wanted people to know.
How much more, then, the parents, siblings, spouses, children and friends who lost a loved one, a heroic loved one, who gave his life for his country? Their grief should be acknowledged. They, too, sacrificed. 
The least we can do is remember.
All around us, we see the fruits of American service members’ sacrifices. America is a place where people are free to create, innovate, and speak (mostly.) We’re free to assemble. When an American visits another part of the world, it becomes obvious that their notions of freedom and an American’s notion of freedom are vastly different. The dull-witted Prince Harry of England aptly demonstrates that and England is a relatively free place. But not as free as America. Nowhere in the world is like the United States of America. The natural state of most governments, in fact, are to inhibit freedom. Note well Biden and his administration’s efforts to rein in American liberty. It’s anti-American.
What our Founders brilliantly created, our servicemen have defended and protected. Many, many Americans have given their lives defending and protecting these ideals.
Is it too much to ask to remember them? 
We have the Indy 500 and the long weekend and barbecue and pool parties and rest. But that’s all because people were willing to fight and die for these things.
Please remember. Please be seen remembering. Put out your flags. Buy one, if you don’t have one, and put it up. Keep it flying free and clean and beautiful. 
Say a prayer for the fallen. Remember.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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