In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people. Martin Luther King Jr.
How do we thank those who died rather than be silent in the face of our foes and the enemies of our freedom?
This morning is Memorial Day, a day for remembering those who while in service of our country made the ultimate sacrifice. Beginning with the Civil War and going through all the wars to our current situation, the living have done something to honor the men and women who died with the hope that the folks back home would remain free.
I chose these two quotes from Martin Luther King Jr because I believe this is a universal principle: If the good are silent, evil triumphs. He was speaking about civil rights and not war on foreign lands, but I wonder would the Holocaust have happened if more good people had not been silent? Would the bombing of Pearl Harbor have happened if we had entered into the war earlier on behalf of our allies? In countries like North Korea, where people have little to no rights and suffer serious governmental oppression, did this abuse come about because too many good people were silent? Were people free and forgot that freedom isn’t?
Whether you are a pacifist or a hawk, my question is how do we honor those who died so that we can freely and lawfully express our opinions? What will you do to honor the person(s) you know who died in military service because our freedoms aren’t free either.
Whatever you choose to do, and I hope you do something, may your Memorial Day 2017 be memorable. And may their memory be eternal.
FYI: Martin Luther King Jr, January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968, was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and an American Baptist minister. He is most well known for his use of non-violent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs. He was assassinated for those beliefs.