As we are approaching Memorial Day, many things come to mind. First of all, let’s remember all those who gave their lives to protect our nation in all the conflicts since the American Revolution, when we fought for our freedom.
Let us also salute all our brave men and women who are now serving today to protect these freedoms as they perform their duties in Afghanistan, in addition to being deployed in other parts of the world.
What also comes to mind is the war against terrorism, which has changed our nation since the attack upon us on Sept. 11, 2001. It is something that must be rooted out. But also we must find the root causes so it will not take more lives.
As Memorial Day nears, I find myself thinking about what it means to be an American. The answer is the pride in being in a country that allows us our personal freedom and the ability to speak our minds. We may not have the best system, but it is still the greatest in the world. These freedoms does not come without a price. They come with great sacrifice and devotion to duty.
Like former President John F. Kennedy said,” Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your county.” We have a great opportunity to do for others, which we can do by volunteering our time to various organizations and our local churches or temples, wherever there is a need. We should also volunteer our time and money to the political party of our choice. All this, I believe, will make America stronger.
Remember, we are the people our forefathers spoke of, for America is all about us, “We the people,” and we need to get involved to truly make America better. So go out on Memorial Day and be part of all that’s going on that day, including attending parades in our communities and cheering our servicemen and women and all those who serve in our communities like the EMS, firefighters and police officers as well as all others in law-in-enforcement, who protect us and also try to save lives.
I served in the United States Navy during the Vietnam era, I am now grand knight of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus in Douglaston, a member of the Queens Village Republican club and a member of the American Legion Post #103 in Douglaston. I try to do what I can for others and hope others would do the same. Remember this also: Be all that you can be by serving your community, for you would be glad that you did. Finally, God bless you all and may God bless America.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.