<$BlogRSDUrl$> The Cyberactivist

Behind the scenes of the fight for the protection of animals and workers and the preservation of the environment - my experiences as a Tyson slaughterhouse hanger/killer turned activist. Exposing the evils of factory farming, by Virgil Butler. If you have arrived here looking for the Tyson stories, view the early archives. Some of them are now featured on the sidebar for easy searching.

Monday, May 31, 2004

Memorial Day 

I wanted to take a moment today to express a little of my feelings about what this day means to me.

Memorial Day has always meant a lot to me. It's not just another holiday that means a long weekend and camping out or partying. Too many people forget that. It's to honor those who have fought to make and keep this country free.

In my case, the ones I look up to the most are those that paid the ultimate price for that freedom - the ones that didn't come home. The ones that died for that freedom many people take for granted. I consider myself lucky that I came back with all my pieces and parts.

Whatever any of us may think about war, especially the one we are involved in now, we must still honor those willing to die for their country and the freedom we all enjoy. You don't have to support the war, but you should support the warrior. He/She deserves respect and gratitude for the sacrifice he/she is willing to give. When you take that oath to "protect the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic," it is indeed a weighty thing.

I feel for those that are overseas right now. Although I don't personally agree with a good bit of what has happened, I still have to take my hat off to the people willing to be there. Just last week we were reading in the paper that we lost some guys around here from the Guard unit based in Mena. One of them died, and others were wounded. That really brought the war home to me, as I am sure that it did to their families. And, I've got a feeling that we will see more of this in the days and weeks to come. I'm sure those guys didn't want to die any more than the ones that will die in the future want to die, but they were willing to take the chance to defend something they believed in. You just have to respect that kind of dedication and courage. I know that I do.

Hopefully one of these days people will be able to settle their differences without war, without fighting. Sadly, that day hasn't arrived yet. Until it does, soldiers will fight, and soldiers will die. None of us like this, but that's the reality of it.

The free countries of today were not always that way. That freedom came at great cost. There was a lot of blood shed to make them that way - a lot. We should never take our rights and freedoms for granted. And we should respect and thank those willing to shed it for us. If you have the chance today to make a difference in a veteran's life, please do. Give him/her a reason to smile. Give them your respect and a thank you. They have earned it.

Freedom is never free.
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