This past Monday, Malden once again recognized its brave Patriots on Memorial Day. Thank you to our Veterans Service Director Kevin Jarvis for organizing another great ceremony and hats off to a one-of-a-kind Grand Marshal in Bill Dempsey. This year we also included the dedication of U.S. Marine Corps Private First Class Paul W. Trainor Memorial Square on Highland Avenue. The word of the day was "Honor" and the remarks below captured what it meant to me:
Honor. What does it really mean? The dictionary defines it to mean respect or esteem but as I look around at the thousands of gravesites here today I can’t help but think that the definition of honor should mean these men and women who died protecting our freedoms.
In 2009, President Barack Obama said “They, and we, are the legacies of an unbroken chain of proud men and women who served their country with honor, who waged war so that we might know peace, who braved hardship so that we might know opportunity, who paid the ultimate price so that we might know freedom.”
The question I have is what have we waged, braved, and paid for the sacrifice of these patriots? As asked by the British Statesman, George Canning, “When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep?” We will never be able to repay the debt we owe them, but we can honor them by living up to the ideals they so courageously fought for.
Not just on Memorial Day, but every day – let’s take the responsibility to appreciate our freedom, advocate for justice, promote peace and simply try to make a difference in our community - perhaps in this way we can prove to our brave heroes that their efforts will never be forgotten.