The cost of freedom

Congressman Jerry Carl

Every Memorial Day I am reminded of just how grateful I am to live in the United States. While it’s easy to be overwhelmed with frustration about struggles in life or to be upset with the direction our country is headed, I’m just as proud to be an American today as I ever have been. Despite our issues and our disagreements, there’s nowhere else in the world I’d rather live. America is still the shining beacon on a hill, and I believe we always will be.
All of us can agree last year was a tough year as we watched the disaster that unfolded in Afghanistan when the U.S. military left the country and 13 servicemembers were killed while assisting in the Kabul evacuation efforts. This was the deadliest day for American troops in Afghanistan in just over a decade, bringing the total U.S. military and civilian deaths in Afghanistan to more than 2,300 since 2001.
The war in Afghanistan is a recent reminder that freedom is not free, and it is bought with a price. As a nation, we must always remember and pay respect to the more than one million men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom. I believe the best way to honor them is to continue that fight for freedom so we can ensure we pass it on to the generations that come after us.
President Reagan’s famous quote always sticks in my brain on Memorial Day weekend: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it, and then hand it to them … ”
I hope you and your family spent time this weekend reflecting on how grateful we are to live in the United States of America. We are the land of the free because of the brave, and we owe a debt to the servicemen and -women who gave the last full measure of devotion to defend our freedom.