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Freedom is not FREE, it Comes with a Price


Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day in America set aside to remember the men and woman who have died fighting for our Freedom.


Three years after the Civil War ended on May 5th, 1868 Memorial Day began. It was first called Decoration Day and was a time to decorate the graves of those who died in war with flowers.

Over the years the celebration has changed and most of us will think of it as a 3 Day holiday, the beginning of summer, and get together with our friends and families for cook-outs, and bar-b-ques.

But, as we gather together with family and friends, let’s take a few moments to remember those who paid the price for us to be able to blog.  Freedom didn’t start with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution but on the battlefield.

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A Call to not Forget

I was thinking today of something I remembered (vaguely) in Ronald Reagan’s farewell speech, so I went and read it.

Here are a few excerpts:

And are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age grew up in a different America.

We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions. If you didn’t get these things from your family, you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school. And if all else failed, you could get a sense of patriotism from the popular culture.

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The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special. TV was like that, too, through the mid-sixties.

So, we’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important--why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know, 4 years ago on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, I read a letter from a young woman writing to her late father, who’d fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, “We will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did.”

Well, let’s help her keep her word. If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let’s start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual.

And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen, I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ’em know and nail ’em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.

Having a son across the world on the Dwight D. Eisenhower, and not with us at our lake cottage, freedom, liberty and what is means will be at the forefront of our minds and hearts.

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Happy Memorial Day to all my friends on Agent Genius!!

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Written By

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.



  1. Ken Brand

    May 22, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Amen. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Michelle Minch, Moving Mountains Design

    May 23, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Missy: Last year my husband and I went to Normandy, France last year. We did what I call the “Band of Brothers” tour. The sacrifice made by those brave soldiers really hit home when we were standing on Omaha Beach. What they accomplished really hit home. Thank you for the reminder and to all the women and men in our armed forces, thank you for making the world a safer place.

  3. Brandie Young

    May 23, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Thanks, Missy. Nice reminder and good to keep perspective. Hope your son knows how much his (et al) efforts are appreciated. xo

  4. Craig Barrett

    May 24, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    “And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ‘em know and nail ‘em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.”

    Hahaha, Ronald Reagan had a heckuva way with words!

    How long has your son been in the Navy? I suppose he could be a Marine as well… My apologies for not knowing. I know your heart aches to have him with your family, but I bet he’s doing good things for the Country he loves.

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