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Memorial Day is a day for somber reflection on the great American Experiment. We too often fail to see how remarkable our existence actually is: self-government secured by a national compact of citizens and enforced by a rule of law. Magna Carta to a Parliament to colonial assemblies to a Congress. A journey of developments that led to the freest nation on Earth. Crafted by geniuses and defended by patriots.
It is this latter part, “defended by patriots” that is our focus today. The green patches of land filled with crosses and markers of disparate faiths note the sacrifice made to preserve our Constitution and our way of life. “All gave some, some gave all” is a simple and beautiful formulation of that sacrifice.
Again we are a land in turmoil. The invasion we have suffered has mobilized our attention and focus. In a federal system we are seeing different reactions to the crisis play out. Some say “we get the government we deserve.” More correctly, we get the government that time, circumstance, and a democratic process delivers. And so we all are challenged both by the epidemic and our various governmental responses. Are we happy with what we got? If not, what are we prepared to sacrifice to get it? Are we worthy of the sacrifices others made on our behalf?
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