I remember my Dad telling me stories of World War II when I was a kid. He told me about his friends who died to preserve the American way of life and to rid the world of a madman. Stories like my Dad’s remind me that nothing in our life in America comes without a price. Men and women of all backgrounds fought and died because they took an oath to defend their country from those who wished to harm it.
My Dad and I participated in the Tallahassee Honor Flight in 2013. It was an honor to accompany my Dad on this journey to meet his fellow veterans and visit the World War II Memorial. I began thinking about all those men who died fighting in that war. Every country has men that will die for their country. But these men didn’t just die for the United States. They died for an idea; an idea of American exceptionalism in a dark world, built on the foundation of a constitutional republic that protects the rights of all its citizens.
That is why on Memorial Day we honor our brave soldiers who died in the line of duty.
Many will spend Memorial Day relaxing from work. Others will celebrate the beginning of summer with hot dogs and swimming trunks. But take some time out of your day to remember our fallen soldiers. Attend a local Memorial Day ceremony. Volunteer with local veterans’ groups. Learn about a local soldier who passed away during battle. Keeping their memories alive is how we can ensure that their sacrifice did not go in vain.
I’m proud to be the son of a veteran and I’m sure many in our great state are proud of all of our Florida-born soldiers and all of their sacrifices. We should be glad that we live in a state that has taken steps to help our veterans and has given them expanded educational and professional opportunities to succeed in civilian life. Our commitment to our veterans honors the memories of those we lost and never will forget.
To all those who have fought and continue to fight for American freedom, thank you.
Dominic M. Calabro is president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch.