This past Monday we took time to pay tribute to our fellow Americans who paid the ultimate price for our freedom and our allies around the world. What began as a day to honor those killed in the American Civil War has now included all wars and conflicts about freedom on our behalf.
At first we just visited the grave sites and laid flowers and offered a prayer on their behalf but now we hold ceremonies with fancy programs while many take to beaches and family gatherings in their backyards.
However you celebrate, I hope you took the time to really thank these men and women who served our country and obligated yourself to live up to one of the things they died for and that is the right to vote. There are countries around the world engaged in violent conflicts over the right to vote while here at home we have people trying to deny and suppress that right. And if they have their way many living relatives of those who died for the right to vote will be denied that right in America.
Even in some cases those who were injured and have disabilities will be denied that right because of their present living condition of homelessness. Not having a place to call home and proper identification is part of some states’ proposals to deny this constitutional right they died for.
It is hurtful, shameful, and embarrassing to our nation that today, some veterans have died because some people we pay to provide health care services to veterans did not give them a timely appointment to be treated. Things like this must not happen and we, the living, must rededicate our lives to right these wrongs for those who died.
Let us begin by looking to the next election and re-engage ourselves by voting. Twenty to thirty percent of our citizens voting is not a good enough tribute to show them that we appreciate what they did on our behalf.
This thing called freedom begins with the ballot box and by you electing people you think will honor those who died and will fight for the rights of those living.