Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Monday, July 27, 2015 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 140 Issue 30

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home : letters : letters to the editor July 27, 2015

5/22/2013 2:00:00 PM

It comes dressed in the trappings of summer and smells like a barbecue and suntan lotion, but really, Memorial Day is the most somber of our national holidays.

If the Fourth of July is a national birthday party, and Veterans' Day honors all who served, alive or dead, Memorial Day is a holiday specifically set aside to remember those who gave all in the service of our country.

It has come to symbolize the unofficial start of summer, a time of vacations and the launch of the summer tourist season, but it means more than that.

Of course we plan to take our leisure in the traditional fashion this weekend. There will be a parade or two, and a grilled steak or two, and a cool, refreshing beverage or two, but these are the fruits of others' labor.

As Americans we enjoy the rights we have, and the opportunities we have because someone paid for them in blood. Our rights to disagree freely; to question and criticize our government; to come and go as we please; to live where we please; to exercise our own liberty as we please; all of that has been paid for through the service of others.

These things exist the way they do because, when the time came, Americans stepped up and sacrificed to ensure this way of life.

In return for their sacrifice we owe it to those who have sacrificed to exercise those rights, from participating in our own government to exercising our right to free speech, assembly and thought.

Our rights may have been spelled out in the Constitution but really, those are no more than words; ideals put to paper. It takes, as they say, boots on the ground to back those words up.

We think about that at this time of year.

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