Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | May 28, 2018

Freedom Is Their Legacy

Today is Memorial Day — a day set aside to honor the memory of those who paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy. All around the country, special ceremonies will be observed to remember our nation’s fallen heroes. As part of Memorial Day commemorations, the President will place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

While visiting my Dad in South Texas a couple of days ago, I stopped by the cemetery where we have a beautiful family plot. Three generations of our family are buried there, including my Mom. Every year at this time, a group of men and women place American flags at the graves of all who served in the military — including those in my own family.

As I watched those individuals reverently walking from grave to grave and respectfully placing flags where veterans lie at rest, I was reminded of the importance of remembering. These flags were, in essence, symbols of gratitude — star spangled thank you cards gently waving in the breeze.

Memorial Day is important. Very important! We need this day in which to intentionally slow down enough to reflect on why we remain the land of the free. The simple answer is that we are the land of the free because of the brave — because of those who answered the call to duty and courageously moved in the direction of threats to our freedom.

At the risk of sounding cliché-ish, we must never forget that freedom is not free. The problem with forgetting those who paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy is that we will begin to drift toward the reefs of ingratitude. Forgetting or thinking too little of our fallen heroes can lead us to think too much of ourselves.

A young minister from a local church stopped by to chat recently. He asked lots of really good questions. In the course of our conversation he said, “I know I will experience lots of failures in ministry and in life. But, I want to know how to handle the successes. How can a person remain humble when things are going great?” My reply — “Write lots of thank you notes!”

Expressing gratitude to others is one of the best ways to stay grounded in life. There is probably no better reminder that our successes are linked to others who assisted, prayed, encouraged, counseled, cooperated with us, and had our back.

The same holds true for Memorial Day. There is no better reminder that all of the freedoms we enjoy, and sometimes take for granted, are linked to those who moved toward danger on our behalf. Freedom is their gift to us. Freedom is their legacy. And for that, we should remain ever grateful.


  1. Very well said, Omar~

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