By Don Heinzman
ECM Editorial Writer
This Memorial Week, we pause to honor men and women who were wounded and lost their lives in defense of our lives, our freedom and our pursuit of happiness.
It is well to reflect on the values that they protected, fighting in all necessary wars.
Today the country is divided along party lines in red states and blue states. The partisanship has never been more rancorous. This division is fed by misinformation and opinions by bloggers and the media, confusing Americans who hunger for the facts.
This is not the unity our founding fathers intended when they wrote the Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Those values also are embodied in the Preamble of the Constitution. “We the people of the United States (note united) in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility (inner peace) provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish the Constitution of the United States.”
Men and women fought and died for the freedoms spelled out in the Bill of Rights. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise of freedom of religion or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the right of people to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Clouds are thickening over our 50 states: terrorism, difficult wars, the economy, too many unemployed, poverty, people without health care and a growing deficit.
The thickest cloud, however, is division: red states versus blue states, Republicans against Democrats, poor against the rich, division among races , creeds and genders. The country is not united, it is not one nation under God where there is liberty and justice for all.
When Americans are united as one nation and states are united bound by an honorable purpose, led by leaders with strength and highest character, the country can best defend itself against tyranny and terrorists who would put out the fire of our liberty and fly planes into our towers.
This week, stop and thank a veteran of these wars for preserving our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness in a country that needs to live out its promise of liberty and justice for all.
Don Heinzman, former editor of the Star News in Elk River, is an editorial writer for ECM Publishers. His blog is posted on HometownSource.com.