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Memorial Day provides sober reminder

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Flags on graves in local cemeteries, solemn ceremonies, the Lewes-Rehoboth Rotary Club's Flags For Heroes display in front of Cape Henlopen High School — and heavier traffic — remind us that the Memorial Day weekend has arrived. While the holiday originated as a time to decorate the graves of those who died during the Civil War, its celebration has informally broadened over the years to commemorate service by individuals in the military and other first responders in our nation who selflessly risk their lives for the defense and safety of others.

Celebrations like these are important because in our nation, dominated so much by fleeting and fast-moving popular culture, we need to be reminded that the freedom to enjoy that culture is protected by those willing to stand up against those trying to take it away.

The knowledge that so many have given their lives in the fight for freedom, and so many more stand ready to do so, can help sober and ground us. Now especially, when crazed people and ruthless terrorists in this country and around the world willingly target innocent people — children and adults — to inflict suffering and death, it's important to honor and show gratitude to those looking out for our safety and those who have given their lives in that struggle.

Every edition of the Cape Gazette since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City has carried Thomas Jefferson's words instructing us that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

They remind us that each of us has a responsibility in the quest to maintain our freedom. If we all focus on vigilance and refuse to allow terrorists and others who would take our freedom to paralyze us with fear, we will enjoy the collective power of that strength to protect us.

The confidence that comes from collective action allows us to enjoy our summers and the critical economic boost that comes from others who travel to the beaches without fear. Memorial Day celebrations remind us that the firm foundation supporting that confidence comes with a heavy price.

Copyright 2016 Cape Gazette, Lewes, Delaware. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: May 27, 2016

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