Thoughts on Memorial Day

This piece was in a newsletter I receive and bears repeating as we celebrate this day to remember those who sacrificed all to defend the country we are privileged to call home.

“Memorial Day was established to pay tribute to those who died in the Civil War. As years have passed, the day has been expanded to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in all of our nation’s wars. Danger to our nation doesn’t just come from terrorists and other international enemies. Corruption, apathy, greed, selfishness and drugs are a few dangers that threaten our beloved United States of America today. On Nov. 21, 1864, Abraham Lincoln expressed his deeply felt fear: ‘I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow. The money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all the wealth is aggregated in a few hands. And the Republic is destroyed’

“Chances are you wouldn’t be sitting where you are right now reading this. Chances are you wouldn’t have any freedoms at all. You may be speaking German or Japanese. Your nation may be much smaller since it may have been split apart by internal strife in the War Between the States.

“Chances are you wouldn’t have a talk show to listen to and participate in, because many governments wouldn’t permit such an outrage as freedom of speech. Chances are the government would control the news media including radio, television, newspapers, and magazines and your news would consist of whatever the government wanted you to know – and nothing else.

“Chances are you wouldn’t have the right to assemble with friends or those who have mutual concerns about how you are being governed. Chances are you couldn’t worship freely and express your faith openly if you have one.

“Chances are this wonderful nation – if it existed at all – would be far different than it is without the sacrifices of veteran. Despite all that they have done for us – all the sacrifices including many giving their lives, too many of us view Memorial Day as merely a three-day weekend, or the first holiday weekend of the summer.

“Too little thought is given to the meaning of the day. Too little thought is given to those who sacrificed. Too little thought is given to how our nation, state, country, municipal government, and school districts are being governed. And, worst of all, too few people even care enough to educate themselves about the issues and vote. Shame on us for being so unappreciative of how richly we have been blessed and how much others have sacrificed for us.”

* * *

Internet Classes

The Beverly Branch Library is offering computer classes May 29 from 10 a.m. to noon. Learn how to find specific information on the Internet through the instruction in these classes. Space is limited, so registration is suggested.

Call the library at (740) 984-4060 or stop by the library’s Circulation Desk to register. The Beverly Library is located on McIntosh Street in Beverly.

* * *

Sue Sampson is a longtime columnist for The Parkersburg News & Sentinel.