David Harmer, president and CEO of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, was quoted in a Memorial Day essay in The Hill by Gen. James L. Jones, the former National Security Adviser to President Barack Obama and a former Marine Corps commandant.
By Gen. James L. Jones
Across the nation, the Memorial Day weekend is considered the unofficial beginning of summer, the season of graduations and proms, and a welcome three-day holiday to spend with family and friends. Many Americans gather for events and activities, enjoying freedom and the privileges of a free society so frequently taken for granted.
With today’s many distractions it seems fair and fitting to ask: how many of us will devote proper time and attention to honoring the nation’s fallen? Every American should hope that none of us fails to reflect upon those who sacrificed their all, and to honor our living veterans in our own personal way.
Several years ago, on the eve of the Fourth of July, I came across a commentary by David Harmer, chief executive of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, that offered perfect clarity on the meaning of our annual national tribute. He wrote:
“Few of us have earned the freedom we enjoy; we’ve received them by bequest as gifts of grace. The freedoms we celebrate on Independence Day were made possible by the sacrifices we commemorate on Memorial Day. To the valiant few, we owe an incalculable debt.”
That’s got it just right.
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