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Respect for veterans is due every day

We were moved by the statement Gov. Doug Burgum made in observance of Memorial Day.

Burgum commemorated the day by delivering remarks during a virtual ceremony livestreamed from the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery near Mandan and in a video message as part of the virtual ceremony for the Fargo National Cemetery. He said:

“This day of remembrance can inspire each of us to consider how fortunate we are to live in this great nation and how important it is for us to keep fighting for America’s future. As President Ronald Reagan wisely said, ‘Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation from extinction.’

“That is why, even in the midst of this pandemic that has taken both lives and livelihoods, we must pause, we must reflect, and we must honor those brave men and women who gave their lives for our country.

“Now more than ever, we must never forget that freedom isn’t free. These freedoms have been preserved and made possible due to the men and women who fought and died for our nation. They deserve our deepest respect on Memorial Day and every day.”

Burgum is entirely correct. Respect for veterans is due every day. We are all at times guilty of not demonstrating the respect we truly hold for our veterans. We must do better.

To expand on Burgum’s message, we would add that our fallen veterans would encourage us not to allow ourselves to become shackled with fear in these frightening times. The brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country would instead encourage us to overcome our fears – be they fear of the coronavirus, fear of a shrinking economy, fear of a new “Cold War.”

Remembering all of our loved ones on Memorial Day – especially those who wore the uniform – and recalling what they accomplished and what they lived through should inspire each of us to have great hope for the future of these United States, not fear.

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