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Remember: Our heroes died for all of us

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By Mark Azzara 

Dear Friend,

On this Memorial Day I encourage you to remember. Yes, remember those who died to protect the enormous blessings of living in a free country. But that’s not all.

We have enough food with which to celebrate the holiday. By “we” I don’t mean all of us, of course, but the vast majority. The fact that some among us are in need shouldn’t distract us from the reality that we have the ability, if we choose to use it, to mitigate the needs of others. Most people in the world don’t have that ability. They barely have enough for themselves.

We have access to medical care when we need it. Not all of us, I regret, but most of us. We shouldn’t let the needs of some prevent us from remembering that our situation isn’t as bad as in most of the world. But we should also remember we have the ability to make things better if we choose to exercise it.

We have access to education, unlike those living in most of the world. We have the freedom to express ourselves in public. We don’t go to sleep at night in fear of our lives. True, these statements don’t apply to absolutely every American. But don’t let that distract you from the larger reality.

If we remember anything I hope it’s that those who died in service to America died for every American, not just the majority of us who have what we need. So, on this Memorial Day, perhaps we should ask: Will we remember that lesson and honor those who died for all of us by helping all of those among us who don’t yet have access to the same blessings?

I’m not talking about asking government to do this for us. I’m suggesting that we, as individual Americans, do this ourselves, regardless of what our government does. Those who died for us didn’t ask somebody else to make that sacrifice for them.

And that’s what we need to remember. When something needs to be done, do it! When sacrifice is needed, make it!

Of course, that’s a whole lot easier said than done. If there is a reason why I believe in Jesus Christ it’s because, on my own, I will never do what needs to be done or make the sacrifices that are required. I need Him to do that in me and through me, just as He gave those men and women the courage to die for the rest of us.

All God’s blessings – Mark

Mark Azzara

About Mark Azzara

Mark Azzara spent 45 years in print journalism, most of them with the Waterbury Republican in Connecticut, where he was a features writer with a special focus on religion at the time of his retirement. He also worked for newspapers in New Haven and Danbury, Conn. At the latter paper, while sports editor, he won a national first-place writing award on college baseball. Azzara also has served as the only admissions recruiter for a small Catholic college in Connecticut and wrote a self-published book on spirituality, "And So Are You." He is active in his church and a non-denominational prayer community and facilitates two Christian study groups for men. Azzara grew up in southern California, graduating from Cal Sate Los Angeles. He holds a master's degree from the University of Connecticut.

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